The Southend Community Policing Team is made up of police officers, police Community Support Officers and Specials under the command of an Inspector and a Chief Inspector District Commander.
The team, alongside the Town Centre Team aims to protect people from harm, speak with communities about their concerns, gather information and help find answers to local problems.
District Commander: Chief Inspector Neil Pudney
“I’m really proud to be the new District Commander for Southend.
“My time as a uniformed officer and all that involved – partnership work, proactive policing and public engagement – is a highlight of my career and I’m delighted to be doing it again.
“This is a role I’ve actively sought out and Southend is wonderful borough in which to work.
“My focus will be to target those crimes which pose the greatest risk and to protect those who are most vulnerable.
“During my time as DCI for the south of the county, we saw the number of recorded burglaries reduce hugely and that is something I want to replicate in Southend.
“I believe strongly in proactively targeting offenders and placing the victim at the heart of everything we do. This is something I will impress upon my teams and ensure their values reflect mine.
“I’ve a huge passion for community policing and I believe partnership work and public engagement is crucial to make our communities safer.”
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Southend will see an increase of five officers dedicated to policing the town centre from Monday, 22 July.
The five new officers will allow Southend’s pre-existing Town Centre Team to grow by 60 per cent, meaning that officers will be more visible and more widely available to investigate community issues within the town.
It brings the total number of officers on the Town Centre Team, also known as Op Reflex, to ten, now made up of nine constables and one sergeant.
The Town Centre Team was initially formed following the murder of Fabian Kacica in May 2018. The months that followed saw an increase in violent disorder in Southend’s town centre and, since then, the Town Centre Team has worked to protect the public, tackle emerging crime trends and work in partnership with community initiatives and organisations to be able to support those impacted by these issues.
The team will focus on issues that impact the community the most and being visible in their patrols and engagement across Southend. The team will continue to work towards reducing violent crime, antisocial behaviour, theft, drugs offences and maintaining the successful night time economy of bars and clubs in the town.
The team will also work closely with partner agencies and charities to understand issues within the local community. The Community Action Group, which meets every six weeks since its inception last May and is chaired by Chief Inspector Neil Pudney, will remain a crucial network of relationships for the Town Centre Team. With new officers, the team will be able to take the lead on more proactive initiatives with partners, including supporting retailers and Southend BID.
Speaking about the new officers, Chief Inspector Neil Pudney said: “As District Commander, I would like to welcome the new members to the Town Centre Team.
“We are able to do a lot of excellent proactive policing work with Op Raptor South and the Proactive Team within our Local Policing Team, who have arrested 300 people since they were created last year. The new officers in the Town Centre Team will continue to strengthen our ability to prevent crime through early intervention with suspected offenders and enforcement activity.
“This is a really exciting time for policing in Southend and I look forward to seeing the team make a real positive impact for residents, retailers and visitors.”
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst added: “Good local policing is at the heart of all safe, prosperous communities. These town centre teams mark a significant investment and will allow Essex Police to work even more closely with residents and businesses to create the safe and secure communities we all need to prosper.
“Increasing the local, visible nature of policing, cracking down on anti-social behaviour and working with communities and businesses to prevent crime were key priorities in my 2016 Police and Crime Plan. Today’s announcement is another significant step in delivering a policing service for Essex that listens and responds to the needs of the people of Essex.”
Councillor Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer care, said: “I am very pleased to be welcoming these extra officers to Southend-on-Sea on behalf of our residents, visitors and local businesses. I’m sure the additional police presence in the town centre will reassure the public. Southend-on-Sea has undoubtedly felt the impact of central Government cuts to police numbers and I will continue to make the case for further investment in frontline police resourcing.
“In addition I know the council’s own community safety patrol team are looking forward to continuing their excellent working relationship with Essex Police to make the town a safer, a more inviting place for people to visit.”
Essex Police’s investment in more policing in town centres will place officers in 23 locations across the county to deal with the issues on your doorstep.
As part of the force’s dedication to visible, frontline officers, the 58 constables will tackle the most prominent issues in local communities, making for a safer county and stronger relationships with the public.
The Town Centre Team constables will be assigned to Braintree, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Harwich, Maldon, Saffron Walden, South Woodham Ferrers and Witham in the north of Essex.
In the south of the county, officers will be servicing Basildon, Billericay, Canvey, Rayleigh, Rochford, Southend and Wickford.
Finally, the teams in the west will be based in: Brentwood, Grays, Harlow, Loughton, South Ockendon, Stanford-le-Hope and Waltham Abbey.