Towns across Brentwood and Epping will see an increased number of officers dedicated to policing town centres from today, Monday, 22 July.

A total of six new officers will enable an increase in visible patrols and the teams will investigate community issues within their designated town centres.

Two officers will be assigned to Brentwood, Loughton and Waltham Abbey respectively. All six officers will be led by Sergeant Rob Fitt and will come under the banner of Town Centre Teams.

Community issues are at the forefront of the Town Centre Teams’ priorities, including crime against local businesses, antisocial behaviour in town centres, and ensuring that clubs, bars and pubs in the three towns adhere to their licencing agreements. District Commander for Brentwood and Epping, Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, said: “I think the Town Centre Teams will be an excellent opportunity for our officers to really integrate into the local community and help community groups and local businesses to voice their problems, which we can then investigate fully.

“All of our officers have come from a response background, so have a brilliant knowledge of the local towns and are really keen to get out into the community and meet the organisations, businesses, and associations that make our communities great.

“To begin with, the teams will be focusing on being visible and tackling antisocial behaviour and shoplifting in town centres, but as the challenges within the communities change, we’ll make sure we meet them head on.” Brentwood Borough Council Leader, Councillor Chris Hossack said: “This is good news for our residents who already benefit from a strong level of support from our own Community Safety team and our Community Safety Partnership.

“We welcome this additional police incentive which will reinforce the good work already being done in Brentwood to ensure the Borough remains a safe and favoured place to live.”

Councillor Nigel Bedford, Cabinet member for Communities and Partnership Services at Epping Forest District Council said: “Introducing the additional officers through the Town Centre Teams in Epping Forest will provide a greater visible policing presence in the district. I think knowing there will be more opportunity to raise issues and share their concerns will be reassuring to many of our residents.

“Making it easier for members of the public, local businesses and organisations to access and interact with their policing teams will encourage better partnerships and strengthen relationships within our local communities.”

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.