Police crackdown pleases residents

AN ongoing police operation targeting anti-social behaviour has led to further arrests this week, it emerged last night.

Roddy Ashworth

AN ongoing police operation targeting anti-social behaviour has led to further arrests this week, it emerged last night.

And West Mersea mayor, Alan Mogridge, said that efforts to crackdown on the minority of troublemakers were welcomed by local people - some of whom had previously felt scared and intimidated.

Seven people were arrested in connection with a variety of offences including public order, criminal damage and perverting the course of justice.

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The action is part of Operation Fakenham - aimed at high visibility policing - and follows five arrests last month when officers patrolled West Mersa on horseback.

Police have also reminded local people that they will take action against any adults who buy alcohol for underage children.

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Sgt Jon Butcher said: “This operation is part of our continued efforts to convert reduced crime levels into reduced public fear of crime.

“We remain committed to creating communities where individuals can go about their daily business without fear of being a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour.”

He added that some of the arrests had come as a direct result of members of the public being prepared to make statements against the troublemakers.

“The solution lies within the community and we will continue to take positive action whenever possible,” Sgt Butcher said. “The majority of youths in Mersea are well behaved. Sadly, the reputation of the majority is being tarnished by the unacceptable behaviour of a few.

“Operation Fakenham is not about targeting the youth of Mersea Island - it is about targeting people of any age whose actions have a negative impact on an otherwise flourishing community.”

Mr Mogridge, who is also chairman of the island's Neighbourhood Action Panel (NAP) said: “We have had increased attendance at NAP meetings because people are really worried about the minority of youths that are causing this trouble.

“Most kids here are really focussed on their education and doing well, but there are some who have been involved in this.

“We have a large number of retired people here and they were becoming scared and worried. But some of the young people were being intimidated by this minority as well.

“After listening to what the public want, the police decided to take action and it seems to be paying off.”

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