A well-off village has hired a private security firm to deter criminals after it was abandoned by police who scrapped local beat officers. Crime levels have soared in well-to-do Tiptree, Essex, since its police station was closed five years ago, leaving the elderly and vulnerable scared to leave their homes.
Regular foot and vehicle patrols will now be carried out by ‘community marshalls’ from Regency Security Group (RSG) at an annual cost of £12,000 – the equivalent of just £1.20 each for the 10,000 residents of the village. The firm would provide staff with powers similar to those of community support officer.
RSG business director Paul DeAngelis said: ‘Our operatives will be targeting anti-social behaviour using CCTV and bodycams. ‘Those individuals acting in an anti-social manner and/or breaking the law will be filmed and they will face the full legal ramifications of their actions.’
Another Essex community, Frinton-on-Sea, began paying for private security last year after it, too, lost police patrols.
But provider AGS cancelled the service after some residents accused it of running what amounted to a ‘protection racket’.The firm apologised for heavy-handed tactics, including cold-callers banging on doors after dark and exaggerating the risk of crime.