Anti social behaviour to be given red card, says top cop

PUBLISHED: 07:52 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 07:29 30 May 2010

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour on the streets of Great Dunmow could be given the red card in 2010 under a radical new scheme led by Dunmow s top cop. After five months in charge of the town s police force, Inspector Mick Couldridge has given his clearest indicatio

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour on the streets of Great Dunmow could be given the red card in 2010 under a radical new scheme led by Dunmow's top cop.

After five months in charge of the town's police force, Inspector Mick Couldridge has given his clearest indication yet on where the fight against crime is going.

Addressing local councillors at a meeting last Thursday, he said: "I am aware of the many concerns over anti-social behaviour, including drink and drugs. It is the one thing that makes people feel less safe in the town.

"It ties in with many other towns and cities in Essex and the lead I am getting from the top is to start addressing this sort of behaviour and nuisance for good.

"Dunmow has a lot of people who have moved in from outside the area, so not everyone will know each other. It is therefore important to keep up communication.

"We will be focusing on all these factors in and this will provide our officers with far more impetus to do something about it."

Insp Couldridge emphasised that the bid to stamp out anti-social behaviour had already begun, with CCTV cameras being installed along the High Street.

He also agreed that this had to be just the first phase to rid the town centre of unwanted trouble - especially during large events.

Cllr Trudi Hughes asked if he intended to employ a card system similar to one in being used already in Brighton city centre - where people are sent away from the town centre or banned for misdemeanours.

Under the scheme not adhering to the rules can lead to Anti-social behaviour orders.

Insp Couldridge replied: "If the tactics we need to use involve the use of red and yellow cards then we will use such a system. This would work with big events like the carnival or late night shopping."

He added that the CCTV system, which is due to be upgraded at the beginning of next year, will also serve as a crime prevention device.

"We are trying to stop crime before it happens. Catching someone in the process is a bit like trying to catch a horse after it has bolted," he said.

Two other crime-preventing schemes are also set to be re-vamped during the shake-up. Neighbourhood Watch will be making a welcome return and Pub Watch, which was re-launched in November, will be stepped up.

"Both have been used to great effect in Saffron Walden," said Insp Couldridge. "Action with Pub Watch has resulted in two men being given a Behave or be Band order meaning they can no longer drink anywhere in the town.

"Dunmow is yet to have these same problems but it is good to get these schemes up-and-running."

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1EE.

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