Keeping our online presence safe and secure is vital.  Do you ensure your home is secure before you leave to go to out, keeping it and your possessions safe?  The next time you go online make sure you have taken the necessary precautions to keep your data safe.

Ever used the same password for more than one of your online accounts? Shared your personal details via an email?  If your answer was yes you are not the only one. A survey from the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign and global information services company Experian revealed that 52% of those that had replied (aged 18 – 25 years) and 27% from all age groups reuse their password across multiple accounts.  Over three quarters of those surveyed had sent personal information via email.

Below are links to a few websites that offer advice on protecting yourself against cybercrime.

Crime and SafetyContact us at Crucial Crew

Crucial Crew is an innovative and interactive way of delivering health and wellbeing, and personal safety education, messages to Year 6 children (10/11 year olds) in the Epping Forest District. Our aim is to highlight the positive benefits of physical activity, healthy relationships and good nutrition, along with key safety messages.

The Crucial Crew programme is organised and delivered by the Council’s Community, Health & Wellbeing Team, in partnership with a range of other agencies including:

  • Essex County Council Highways - Road Safety
  • ACE - Healthy eating
  • Red Balloon Family Foundation - Bullying
  • Essex County Fire & Rescue Service - Home safety
  • Safer Places - Healthy relationships
  • Sainsbury's - Safety around large vehicles
  • Alco Help - Alcohol awareness
  • Sparks2Life - Drugs awareness

For more information about Crucial Crew please email Patrick Arnold, Senior Community Engagement Officer at 


Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

We use 2 aerial camera systems also known as drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The drones purchased are both DJI Phantom 3.

We will publish our flights planned in a particular parish in the district on the map below from midnight on the day of the flight until 23.59 of the same day.

We purchased the drones for 

  • Real-time surveys for planning including aerial photography for new planning developments and landscaping enforcement
  • Surveying roofs and guttering on council owned estates
  • Identifying illegal waste transfer sites and previously unidentified unauthorised caravan encampments

Our operations manual includes our CAA licence and insurance details.

For further information or queries regarding specific flights please contact us.


Prevent - counter terrorism strategy

Prevent is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the Government's counter-terrorism strategy.

It is not about catching terrorists, it is about identifying people who may be at risk of radicalisation and supporting them to change direction in a way that will help them.
There are a very small number of people who support terrorist activity, or are likely to. The vast majority of people, in all communities, need no convincing that terrorism is wrong and want to see it prevented. Most people want to play their part in helping to make that happen.
The purpose of Prevent is to enlist the support of people in our country to reach the much smaller minority who may be drawn into terrorism, often through extremist views.
The Prevent strategy has three main objectives:

  • Ideology - to respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and of those extremist views conducive to it
  • Individuals - to prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism by developing and expanding programmes to identify who they are and then to provide them with community-based support
  • Institutions - to work within the wide range of sectors and institutions where the ideology, the activists and vulnerable people come together and where there are either risks of radicalisation or opportunities to prevent it - or both. That means education, health, faith, charities, prisons and probation, and the internet


One of the main elements of Prevent work is a programme called Channel, whereby people who are assessed as being vulnerable to supporting violent extremism are provided with multi-agency support, via a Channel Panel.
Channel covers all forms of extremism. The support that is offered is tailored for each case and could consist, among other methods, of any of the following:

  • help with family problems
  • mental health support
  • mentoring
  • religious support

People who are referred to Channel are not criminals but may be at risk of committing an offence if not supported. To give an example of how Channel works - a school may have concerns about a pupil who they feel is at risk of influence from an extremist group or individual. They would contact the relevant Social Services Family Operations Hub Channel Coordinator for advice and support, who in turn makes an assessment and may refer the pupil to the Channel Panel if they were found to be at risk. Within Essex, the Channel Panel is a multi-agency group, chaired by the County Council. The Panel would then offer any number of support options to safeguard the individual.


 Human trafficking - what are the signs to look for?

Human trafficking is happening here in the UK as well as all over the world. It could be happening near you. So we all need to be more aware and know what signs to look for. Then know what to do if you feel someone is being exploited.

By offering potential victims false promises, traffickers paint a rosy picture of a better life, such as a good job, educational opportunity or marriage. If a potential victim falls for the false promises, the trafficker transports the person to another place or country for exploitation. The person becomes a victim of human trafficking.

Anyone who is vulnerable. Men, women and children of all nationalities. People can become vulnerable to trafficking through a variety of interrelated factors. Poverty is often seen as the most significant indicator of vulnerability in relation to trafficking, however in reality the picture can be much more complicated and vulnerabilities may often be a lot more subtle. The UN list the following as contributory factors:

  • Being a child
  • Gender
  • Poverty
  • Social and cultural exclusion
  • Limited access to education
  • Political instability and war conflict
  • Social, cultural and legal frameworks
  • Movement and demand

Victims of trafficking do not run away because they are controlled by their traffickers. For example through debt bondage, a victim is told that he or she owes the trafficker money used for transportation, accommodation, food or the like. The 'debt' never decreases and the victim remains trapped by the trafficker. Other forms of control include taking and keeping a victim's identity or travel documents, use of threats to harm the victim's family, locking up the victim, and forced drug use. The victim is completely controlled and often too afraid to try to escape.

Often, victims do not even have basic control over their daily decisions such as when to sleep, eat or rest. Their lives are at the mercy of the traffickers who subject the victims to physical violence, repeated rape, torture, forced drug use, forced abortions and psychological manipulation. Victims risk contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV & AIDS. The trafficking experience is traumatic and damages the physical, mental and social well-being of a person. Trafficking can take place across a national border and also within a single country, for example, there are British people who have become victims of trafficking within the UK.

Sexual exploitation

Involves any non-consensual or abusive sexual acts performed without a victim’s permission. This can also include prostitution, escort work and pornography.

Domestic servitude

Involves being forced to work in private households. Their movement will often be restricted and they will be forced to perform household tasks such as child care and house-keeping over long hours and for little if any pay. Isolation, no unsupervised freedom and often sleeping on a mattress on the floor in an open part of the house are common.

Forced labour

Involves victims being compelled to work very long hours, often in arduous conditions, and to hand over the majority if not all of their wages to their traffickers. Forced labour crucially implies the use of coercion and lack of freedom or choice for the victim. In many cases victims are subjected to verbal threats or violence to achieve compliance.

Forced criminality

Involves victims, often children, who are forced to commit a range of crimes, including street crime such as DVD selling, bag snatching, ATM theft, pick-pocketing and forced begging.

Organ harvesting

Involves trafficking people in order to use their internal organs for transplant. The illegal trade is dominated by kidneys, which are in the greatest demand and are the only major organs that can be wholly transplanted with relatively few risks to the life of the donor.

The signs to look for depend on where trafficking might take place:

On a farm or factory:

  • Foreign nationals doing farm/factory work
  • Poor/non-existent safety equipment
  • Unsuitable clothing
  • Workers live in overcrowded private rented accommodation
  • Minibuses pick up non-UK nationals at unusual hours
  • Bins full of fast food packaging
  • Workers fearful/poorly integrated into wider community
  • Workers have no time off
  • Employers/others hold their passport/legal documents

Domestic labour:

  • Foreign national adult/child lives with family (possibly as a domestic servant/nanny)
  • Rarely allowed out of house, unless accompanied
  • Subjected to verbal/physical abuse
  • No private space/poor sleeping arrangements
  • Poor diet/leftovers
  • If a child, poor attendance at school/no time to play
  • Person not interacting much with family

In a sauna or massage parlour:

  • Woman is a foreign national
  • Unhappy/unwilling to perform sexual acts
  • Frightened or in physical pain
  • Sees large number of clients each day/night
  • Able to keep little/no money
  • 'Special' services offered, often at low price
  • Woman doesn't smile/reluctant to cooperate
  • Food paid for by another
  • Little/no time off
  • Only knows sex-related English words

If you are travelling:

  • Foreign national child travelling alone
  • Has little except a mobile phone
  • Not travelling to UK to meet parent/guardian
  • Suspicious of adults
  • Afraid of being deported
  • Shows signs of inappropriate/sexualised behaviour

On your high street:

  • Young, elderly/disabled foreign national begging in public places/on public transport
  • Obvious signs of abuse
  • Fearful of adults (especially law enforcers); jumpy
  • One adult is the guardian of large group of children
  • Large group of adult/child beggars moving daily to different locations, returning to same location every night
  • Moving as a group on public transport

Children in a home:

  • Teenage girl meets older male ‘boyfriend’. Flattery/gifts ensue, then introduction to alcohol/drugs
  • Man claims she owes him for drugs. Forces her to do sexual favours
  • Girl taken from family home, returned after varying lengths of time; relationship with family/guardians increasingly severed
  • Pictures/films of her engaging in sex activities produce guilt and fear
  • Girl taken to different flats to sleep with different men
  • Girl may not know man is taking payment

If you see something suspicious, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Or contact Modern Slavery on 0800 0121 700


Adult victims

If you have concerns over a possible adult victim of trafficking, call the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army took responsibility for delivering the UK Government’s contract in July 2011 to manage support services for adult female and male victims of Human Trafficking.

The Salvation Army 24 hour confidential referral helpline : 0300 3038151.

Child victims

If you are a professional working with a child victim of trafficking, you can call the NSPCC National Trafficking Advice Centre on 0808 800 5000 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

This advice line is only for professionals working with child victims of trafficking.




Phone Contact us....

Telephone: 01992 564608

Or write to us at: Safer Communities Team, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street,,  Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE - if your complaint relates to abandoned vehicles, rubbish, fly-tipping or other environmental issues please email To report defects in roads, pavements or lighting please contact Essex County Council Highways.

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