A TEEN has been arrested on suspicion of committing two robberies in Halstead as part of a clampdown on issues across the district.

Officers in Braintree, Halstead, Maldon, Witham and Utllesford joined forces and made five arrests during 'Operation Community’ last week. 

Police cracked down on offences including drugs, speeding and anti-social behaviour with the help of communities and retailers.

This included an arrest of a 14-year-old in Halstead on suspicion of committing two robberies as well as various other arrests in Braintree, Witham and more.

In Braintree and Halstead, the focus was on anti-social behaviour and officers mounted 56 hours of high-visibility patrols as they engaged with the public.

Business Crime Team officers visited various shops and businesses in Halstead, promoting best practice in staff safety and theft prevention as well as encouraging retail staff and customers to report anti-social behaviour and theft to the force.

Together with Will Garrod, operations manager for Shop Safe, which provides and maintains the TownLink service, officers also delivered radio sets to several retailers.

This will help them share vital information about suspects instantly with each other and with the police.

Jane Pryke, supervisor of QD stores in Halstead High Street, was one of the retailers to receive a new TownLink radio.

She said: “The radios will help all the shops in the town to liaise with each other much more easily and help us to prevent crime.

"We’ll be able to alert each other and the police, if necessary, and pass on descriptions much more quickly now if we spot anyone causing trouble or stealing in our stores.”

One of Essex Police's designing out crime officers, Angie Pearson, accompanied the business crime officers to look at premises security following reports of children climbing on to the rooves of buildings in Halstead High Street.

“It’s having quite an impact on the shopkeepers so I’ll be working with them to see what can be done to prevent access,” she said.

Acting Inspector Kevin Mayle, of the Braintree Community Policing Team, added: “We are working every day to keep our district and our residents and visitors safe and catch criminals and we use proactive days to focus on local concerns, such as speeding, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

“It was a good day. We made five arrests while the rest of our officers were patrolling across the district, listening to the concerns of residents, motorists, business owners and retail staff.

"The information we gather will help us to target future proactive operational activity."