New police officers will be 'names and faces' for residents of town

PUBLISHED: 07:44 25 July 2019

PC Sonia Green and PC Joe Whitehead will be focussed on policing in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT

PC Sonia Green and PC Joe Whitehead will be focussed on policing in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT

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Saffron Walden welcomed two new 'bobbies on the beat' this week.

New town team officer PC Sonia Green and Joe Whitehead (centre right) with senior Essex Police officers and staff at the launch of the town team. Picture: ARCHANTNew town team officer PC Sonia Green and Joe Whitehead (centre right) with senior Essex Police officers and staff at the launch of the town team. Picture: ARCHANT

Police constables Sonia Green and Joe Whitehead began their work policing the town centre on Monday and will join the existing Uttlesford community policing team.

The duo will work with local businesses, charities and community groups whilst focusing on visible patrols, tackling antisocial behaviour in the centre, acting on intelligence about drug activity and issues that impact the night economy of pubs.

PC Green has been working in Uttlesford and Saffron Walden for 16 years whilst PC Whitehead has been with Essex Police for two years.

Speaking about his new job, PC Whitehead said: "It's going back to community policing, something that because of funding and budgets has suffered. We can get back in the high street and try and alleviate some of the concerns of the residents."

PC Sonia Green and PC Joe Whitehead will be focussed on policing in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANTPC Sonia Green and PC Joe Whitehead will be focussed on policing in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT

PC Green said: "It' more about crime prevention and going to schools and educating children regarding knife crime and trying to keep people safe in regards to social media and cyber bullying."

The creation of the town team is part of a countywide effort by Essex Police to invest in more policing in town centres, placing officers in 23 locations, including Braintree and Chelmsford.

Speaking to the Reporter, Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: "I think we recognise through austerity that there was a reduction in the visibility of foot patrols and people will [now] see that increase in police presence. It's about being the names and faces that the local community know they can get in contact with, and who are here to deal with the problems they can see in the area."

The two new officers will be overseen by Uttlesford community policing team's Sergeant Simon Miah, who said: "The pair of them have great local knowledge and, with a bit of a helping hand, will be able to make a great difference to the town centre. They'll really be able to get to the heart of the community in the town, figure out what troubles they're having, and, ultimately, reduce crime."

Saffron Walden MP, Kemi Badenoch, said: "I lobbied for an additional 215 officers in Essex this year. It is from these additional police that the 23 town teams have been formed across the county. I warmly welcome them to their new roles."

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