POLICE say they are taking action after a string of reports of gang-related crime in Halstead town centre.

A freedom of information request (FOI) by the Halstead Gazette to Essex Police revealed there have been six reports of a gang of youths in Halstead Public Gardens, off Trinity Street, over a 12-month period.

The dates range from February 1, 2023, to January 31 this year, and the FOI also confirmed there has been two reports of attempted theft or robbery in the gardens reported to the police.

Incidents saw a youth try to rob an 18-year-old and an individual threatened to stab a 14-year-old boy.

Halstead Gazette: Beauty spot - Halstead Public GardensBeauty spot - Halstead Public Gardens (Image: Halstead Public Gardens)


Police officers could now be based in the town again for the first time since the police station closed ten years ago.

Insp Philip Jackson, of Braintree and Uttlesford community policing team, said: “We are aware of a group of young people in this area causing some issues to the wider community over recent months.

“They have been subject to targeted work and intervention via the community policing team, which includes work with partners and support agencies to both detect offending when it arises and divert young people away from future offending.

“We also utilise Halstead Safer Streets funding to provide regular dedicated high-visibility patrols in the community.

“We rely on reports, no matter how small, which can be made direct to officers out in the community or via our online or 101 service, to build up an accurate picture where problems arise.

Halstead Gazette: Working on the situation - Police officersWorking on the situation - Police officers (Image: PA)

Halstead Gazette: Picturesque - Halstead Public GardensPicturesque - Halstead Public Gardens (Image: Newsquest)

“This connection with residents, who must feel confident reporting issues to us, is absolutely key to our work preventing further issues arising."

It has been confirmed Essex Police is working on basing some officers in Halstead in the future when needed, in a bid to provide better response times.

Halstead mayor Jackie Pell said she had heard of a gang of youngsters committing antisocial behaviour in the Public Gardens and is certain the town council’s new community warden will help deter any negative behaviour.

The community warden will engage in regular patrols from the Ramsey Academy, in Colne Road, along the High Street and through the Public Gardens.

Braintree Council, in partnership with the office of the Police, Fire, & Crime Commissioner for Essex, secured £300,223 of funding through the Government Safer Streets fund.

It's a project that aims to help tackle antisocial behaviour in Halstead.

A spokesman for Braintree Council said: "We are not aware of these issues in the Halstead Public Gardens.

"We take safety in our district very seriously and work closely with our partners, including the police, towards a safe community for all our residents.

"We would like to encourage residents to report any issues or concerns to the police, and to us directly if they wish.

"CCTV was permanently installed at Halstead Public Gardens a couple of years ago, to deter any antisocial behaviour and to provide evidence in case any crime has taken place.

"We have recently acquired funding under the Government’s Safer Streets fund for specific areas of Halstead, which will be invested in an approved delivery plan in conjunction with a number of partners including Halstead Town Council and the police.

"The plan will focus on reducing anti-social behaviour, neighbourhood crime and violence against women and girls.

"Residents can share their views about safety in Halstead by taking part in our survey: Safer Streets Programme – Braintree District Council.”