TWO extra officers have been introduced to police Maldon town centre.

With guidance from a sergeant, who will also set the direction for the teams in South Woodham Ferrers and Chelmsford, the pair of officers will use the local knowledge they’ve gained from being on the local response team to engage with the local community and get to the heart of ongoing issues.

Priorities include antisocial behaviour, gangs and drug crime.

The Town Centre Teams will continue to make key connections with the partners, businesses, charities and community groups that represent the people of Maldon to see how we can work together to tackle key issues like violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

Inspector Steve Scott-Haynes of the Chelmsford and Maldon Community Policing Team said: “It’s a really exciting time for policing across the district. We know you wanted more visible officers to tackle the problems that are closer to home and, with the Town Centre Teams, you’ll get just that.

“We know that residents in Maldon can often feel overlooked for Chelmsford, but these two new officers will be able to make those all-important relationships with residents and local businesses alike to understand the issues that continue to impact the community.

“We know that antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and the abuse of drugs can go hand-in-hand in the town, and the Town Centre Team will be looking to target these hotspots, to crack down on those who commit crime in your community.

“Our officers want to get to know you and the problems you’re facing. We want to give residents in Maldon a voice about the issues in the town and also allow our amazing local businesses and pubs to have a platform, so that we can work together to make this town a safe place for everyone.

“Our officers will continue to work with the partners who do great work alongside us from the Community Safety Partnership, and I know the team look forward to meeting new faces like independent business owners, community leaders and local charities to see how we can work together to make our community safer, and more inclusive, for everyone who calls Maldon home.”

Maldon Council leader Adrian Fluker, added: “We have engaged with Essex Police over the years and stressed the importance of what is needed in the district.

"I am therefore pleased to see that the needs of the larger villages and towns around us has been recognised and that two of the newly appointed officers will be dedicated to Maldon.

“It is also noticeable that we’re seeing more police officers in the area which is something that we welcome. It is so important that the policing needs of our particularly rural district are met and that our community, businesses and visitors continue to feel safe in this area which enjoys relatively low levels of crime and disorder.

“Maldon Council is pleased to see additional resources deployed to Maldon town centre. Last year, we had an uplift of six officers for the district and this is exactly what our public want and have been asking for. Through the Maldon Community Safety Partnership, the Council now has officers located with the Community Policing Team and Council community protection officers work alongside the police to ensure that there is greater visibility. This in turn boosts public confidence and reduces the fear of crime.”

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.