The police are asking you to report any suspicious behaviour to them, rather than posting on social media.
Reporting suspicious activity to the police is vital for preventing crime and protecting vulnerable people, says Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cadd, the force lead for Intelligence.
DCI Cadd says there have been numerous examples of people posting on social media when they’ve seen activity that concerns them, rather than contacting the police.
He wants to encourage people to report via the form on essex.police.uk or call 101 if they’ve witnessed something unusual.
A seemingly small piece of information could be the missing link that helps convict a prolific offender or take down an organised criminal gang (OCG).
DCI Cadd says: “If something doesn’t feel right, it often isn’t, so please report it to us. If you’ve seen something you think we need to know about, you can contact us through our website, by calling 101 or anonymously though Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Essex Police receive up to 6,500 pieces of intelligence a month. All of it is assessed, qualified, researched and developed by the 30-strong team in the Force Intelligence Bureau.
Information received from the public has led directly to the discovery of cannabis grows and the prosecution of gang members.
DCI Cadd says: “Every piece of intelligence builds a picture. Something reported today may not lead to immediate action but as we get more intelligence in the following weeks or months, that initial piece of information may become key for us in getting a warrant, taking enforcement action, or identifying someone involved in crime.
“You don’t always get golden nuggets, but our specialist intelligence officers will put those snippets of information together to form a holistic picture. Every piece of intelligence has a value.”