Thurrock has seen a 22 per cent decrease in antisocial behaviour over the past 12 months, according to new figures.

One of 13 patrolling zones in Essex, Thurrock is a part of Operation Dial, which has been funded by a £1.1m investment from Essex's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and has seen 498 fewer offences compared to the previous year.

The investment, part of the government's Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy, is aimed at enhancing public engagement through high visibility patrols, youth outreach and preventive measures.

Notably, the Lakeside and Chafford Hundred hotspot zone has recorded more than 2,000 patrol hours and eight nights of action to tackle issues ranging from adolescent nuisance behaviour to inappropriate vehicle use in car park areas.

These zones frequented by over 20 million visitors yearly, posed challenges but continuous efforts resulted in a significant drop in offences.

Working in partnership with Thurrock Council’s community safety team, officers have made eight arrests, 41 fixed penalty notices, 50 informal warnings, and 32 stop searches.

Sergeant Lyndsey Chapman of Lakeside Community Policing Team said: "Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for us.

"We have a permanent team at the centre and we work very closely with Lakeside security to deal with any issues before they escalate.

"The centre are really robust at issuing banning orders and enforcing the bans.

"Eight people have been banned this month alone.

"Lakeside is a venue where people want to relax and enjoy themselves.

"The transport links make it easy to get to and the range of attractions make it popular with teenagers, but we know people can find groups of young people intimidating.

"Recently, we’ve dealt with youngsters coming in on bikes and riding aggressively, and two juvenile boys who’ve been abusive to staff and been knocking products off shelves in shops.

"One of the boys was issued a community resolution and both have been banned for a year.

"By having a uniformed presence on patrol, it creates a deterrent and reassures the public.

"Coming here to cause trouble is completely unacceptable and if anyone witnesses anti-social behaviour, we want them to tell our officers or alert the centre’s security team."