Council moves to reassure residents after city centre incident

PUBLISHED: 12 January 2024

Colchester City Council is taking steps to reassure residents and address community concerns following a knife crime incident in the city centre on January 9th, 2024.

A 16-year-old sustained serious injuries in the attack that occurred on Queen Street. While the police investigation continues, the council has pledged to continue working with community safety partners to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.

“Our thoughts are with the victim and their family during this difficult time, and we are pleased to hear he is making good progress,” said Cllr David King, Leader of the Council.

“We understand community concerns. Public safety remains a top priority. This type of dreadful incident is thankfully exceptionally rare in Colchester but reinforces the importance of us continuing to work closely with the police and other partners to address violence and its root causes. We are especially focused on supporting the Safer Colchester Partnership, Safer Essex, and the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit – crucial initiatives in tackling crime and disruptive behaviour.

“These collaborative efforts have already yielded positive results, as evidenced by a 6.5% overall crime reduction and a 12.5% decrease in knife crime across Essex in the last year.

“In Colchester there has also been a reduction in violence with injury, decreasing by 2.8%. Violence without injury decreased by 4.8% and stalking and harassment decreased by 20.1% over the last 12 months.

“We are encouraged by this progress and remain committed to working with the Police, Police and Fire and Crime Commissioner, local communities, and businesses to achieve even greater success.”

Andrew Tyrrell, Chair of the Safer Colchester Partnership, added: “Colchester is a comparatively safe city, although we continue to work hard with our partners to make it an even safer place so that our communities can enjoy their lives without fear from crime.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents remains a top priority for the Safer Colchester Partnership. This includes, in the year to come, a continued focus on addressing serious crimes, violence against women and girls, and domestic abuse within our key priorities. We believe in working together with residents, organisations, and law enforcement to build strong community resilience and create a safer and more supportive environment for everyone in Colchester.

“Sustained collaboration and investment in education, engagement, prevention and support programs is key to achieving lasting behavioural change. Key partners are working together to achieve these outcomes for the benefit of our residents, visitors and businesses.”

Colchester City Council actively supports numerous initiatives aimed at preventing violence and fostering positive community engagement, including:
  • The Knife Angel: A powerful art installation that visited Colchester in 2023, sparking vital conversations about the impact of knife crime and inspiring young people to make positive choices.
  • Colchester Sports Park Safe Space:  a supportive place for individuals who feel they are being sexually harassed can visit the Safe Space for con­fidential advice and support.
  • Stronger Together: A confidential haven for anyone feeling harassed, vulnerable, or just needing support.
  • Youth Voice: A platform for young people to directly influence decisions and policies related to their needs and well-being.
  • Project Morpheus: A programme of events and activities to engage 10 to 18-year-olds in free activity sessions with a community twist, to help steer them away from anti-social behaviour.

Page last reviewed: 12 January 2024


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