Hundreds of people working in partnership to make Essex a safer place have come together to focus on crime prevention initiatives.
Victims, practitioners, policy makers and academics shared their knowledge, experiences and ideas at the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Conference to propose new ways of doing Essex a safer place for all.
The People, Partnerships and Prevention event, at Colchester Stadium, focused on some of the most harmful and impactful crimes affecting society and asked what more could be done together to drive prevention and response early.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, opened the conference saying: “This conference is about people, partnerships and prevention. It’s about all of us working together to make Essex a safer place than it is now.
“Essex is a good place to live. The approach people have to life is incomparable. There is an attitude of “I can” and an enthusiasm for life.
“It’s about sharing a common goal to make a big difference for people in our communities. It has to be about prevention and stopping things from happening in the first place. »
Chief Constable of Essex BJ Harrington shared the sentiment, saying, “It is our job with you where we stand to make the most meaningful progress.
“A strong and effective partnership requires that we all do our part. The police have an important role to play. But, we are only as strong as the partnerships in this room. We deal with crime, but we cannot eliminate the problems that drive people to commit crimes.
“It is Essex Police’s mission to continue to work in partnership to continue to prevent crime and together make Essex as safe as possible.”
Essex Police have 700 stronger officers, the investment of £30,000 in additional independent domestic violence advisers and independent sexual abuse advisers, and a 4.4% drop in crime this year compared to the same period in 2019 are just some of the successes celebrated. day.
Lived experiences were shared by Gavin McKennawho set up the Building Lives project to support vulnerable young people at risk of crime, serious violence and criminal exploitation, and ryan hartspeaking out around the world about the hidden victims of coercive control and domestic violence.
Gabin once carried a knife to school for protection from fear. Her father was in prison and her mother suffered from poor mental health. He said the only role models he had were criminals and the only constant authority in his life was the police. He said no one stopped to question the reasons for his bad behavior.
He said: ‘No one understood what was going on. I was not a “gang member”; I was scared.
“The biggest thing I wish I had when I was a kid was someone who put their arm around me and explained to me what would happen if I had continued on this path. I needed this monitoring.
“Children are products of their environment. All I had was access to negative opportunities and negative role models. Can you change the environment of young people?
Ryan told his family’s story of 25 years of coercive control at the hands of his father, who then murdered Ryan’s mother and sister before turning a gun on himself.
He explained that the victims do not always recognize themselves as such and that he would have liked to realize this in order to be able to call on the help available for his family.
Surgeon Jonathan Berger brought his extensive research and proven work behind the Cardiff model for preventing violence in Essex, highlighting the role A&E departments must play in preventing crime – with around 50% of all violent crime not reported to police but recorded in hospitals.
During Tyler MayIn her speech, she urged people to stand up if they had experienced gender discrimination, inappropriate behavior or unwanted sexual attention, before asking delegates to look around the room at the number of people affected.
The teenager represented the Young Essex Assembly, Essex’s elected youth council, to raise awareness, start conversations and promote cultural change around sexism, sexual harassment and sexual violence.
She told how four out of five young women experience sexual harassment and said: “I was 11 when I joined the youth service in 2016. At the time, I didn’t see the seriousness of the situation. I knew I was afraid to walk home, but I didn’t understand why. I didn’t know why the safety talks were aimed at us girls.
“It started to hit me growing up. You become more careful, stop carrying certain things, ask your parents to dial a speed dial number when you come home alone because you feel uncomfortable and fearful. Fear of becoming one of those four out of five.
“We need to continue these conversations.”
Tyler spoke about Project Unacceptable, a response by Essex County Council to national concerns about sexual violence in schools, with 14,500 young people and professionals watching a show between January and March.
Advise Louise McKinlayDeputy Leader of Essex County Council, spoke about the new Safety Advisory Group which aims to improve women’s safety across the county, as well as the Leveling Up project to improve the lives of residents.
She said: “If we want to make a difference in people’s lives, it’s through working in partnership.”
The partners attended workshops at the conference to learn about the extensive work going on in the county to stop crime from happening in the first place.
The workshops focused on protecting women and girls, preventing serious violence in the streets, reducing deaths and serious injuries on the roads and using data to prevent fires.
Jane Gardner, Essex Police Deputy Fire and Crime Commissioner, closed the event by saying: ‘You don’t need to have had an experience to care. Some of us have had experiences and some have not. My reflection today is that we have a room full of people who care about us.
“By working together, we will collectively make a difference, I am sure thanks to the people who came before me.
“We do so many things. You are all amazing.