Police call on street cleansers for intelligence reports

Thurrock Gazette: Thurrock Chief Inspector Ben Hodder Thurrock Chief Inspector Ben Hodder

POLICE have enrolled the help of street cleaners to help tackle crime across Thurrock - and early indications are the unusual ploy is working.

Ben Hodder, Thurrock’s chief Insp, has briefed council staff calling on them to be police’s “eyes and ears”.

Litter pickers and road sweepers have been enlisted with emphasis on “hotspot” burglary areas, including parts of South Ockendon and Stanford-le-Hope.

And it seems to be working. Mr Hodder said burglary was down about 40 percent this November compared to last.

He said: “In recent weeks, I have briefed 100 council staff, such as street cleansers and those who are out on the streets on a daily basis.

“By having them alert, we’re able to get intelligence reports - they know what’s normal and what’s not. These are things that might appear trivial, like groups of people or vehicles not seen in that area before, but it’s all useful for us.”

Angie Gaywood, the councillor for public protection, said: “Such a fall in the number of crime victims in the run-up to Christmas is fantastic.”

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