Essex Police's chief constable met with the Home Secretary in Southend city centre today to discuss how the force is driving down crime across the county.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington met Braintree MP James Cleverly in Southend police station this morning as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Old Leigh

The private meeting was held in the Victoria Avenue police station before the Home Secretary was taken on a short patrol in Warrior Square alongside Sgt James Mint and PC Amelia Thorne, from the Southend city centre team.

Braintree and Witham Times: Home Secretary James Cleverly speaking with Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington, Sgt Mint and PC ThorneHome Secretary James Cleverly speaking with Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington, Sgt Mint and PC Thorne (Image: Essex Police)

There were 9,470 fewer crimes committed across Essex in 2023 than in the previous year – a reduction of almost 6 per cent.

In Southend specifically, Mr Cleverley was also told about how police work has led to a drop in antisocial behaviour of more than 49 per cent in the past 12 months, with 1,705 fewer incidents.

All crime is also down across the borough 9.2 per cent - a reduction of 1,920 incidents.

Braintree and Witham Times: Sgt Mint and PC Thorne with Mr CleverlySgt Mint and PC Thorne with Mr Cleverly (Image: Essex Police)

Mr Harrington said: “I have never shied away from speaking up for Essex officers and of course part of the conversation with the Home Secretary today was to highlight the extraordinary work being done in this force – at all hours of the day, at all times of the year, often in the face of aggression.

“I was also really happy that the Home Secretary got to see officers face-to-face and chat to them first hand on their roles, the challenges of it, but also the best parts of it; how they help people day in, day out and catch people who have done bad things in their community.

“The Southend town centre team and our community policing officer are integral to how we continue to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in the city.”

In the force's latest independent survey of people in the county, 77 per cent of the public believe Essex Police is doing a good or excellent job.

The chief constable added: “To all our residents across the county, I pledge that we will continue 2024 as we finished 2023, by tackling those who are causing the highest harm in our communities, by continuing to drive down antisocial behaviour, by determinedly working to make our roads safer and by innovatively tackling tackle knife and the issues behind it.”