Essex Police has announced their plans on they are going to spend the £1.76million funding from the Home Office.

The county’s HQ in Chelmsford received the large sum back in April of this year, with the intention to focus on tackling knife crime offences.

The money will be used to continue Operation Sceptre Essex, set up also in April 2019 which has already seen more than 93 people arrested.

Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Wells, said: “Every day, our officers see first-hand the devastating effects of violent crime and the pain and suffering it causes.

“Behind every statistic we see victims and their loved ones whose lives are changed irreparably by needless violence.

“We also see offenders who must not only be brought to justice but rehabilitated so that they can’t harm anyone else.

“We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to drive down violent crime, using the powers and resources available to us.”

Over the next nine months, Essex Police will use the extra funding to:

• Carry out prevention and enforcement in areas identified as being hotspots for violent crime.

• Target people who are known to carry knives and act on information from the community to identify offenders. This will include executing search warrants and continuing to use stop and search powers.

• Investing in equipment and technology, including knife arches, drugs analysis testing equipment and training more officers in the use of Tasers.

This work will be carried out by local and specialist policing teams across the force, including the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

This will also be in partnership with the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Other ongoing work, since April 1 2019 the officers have also carried out the following:

• Executed a warrant in Colchester, which resulted in three arrests and the discovery of more than 100 wraps of suspected class A drugs.

• Carried out more than 1,480 stop checks and more than 250 stop and searches.

  • Stopped more than 1,020 vehicles.

• Submitted more than 198 intelligence reports to help us build a picture around criminal activity and crime trends.

Assistant Chief Constable Wells added: “The extra funding from the Home Office will help us do even more, particularly in building on our partnership work with other organisations to tackle the complex issues behind why these crimes are committed.

“This is a battle that we as a community must fight together. That includes educating our children about the reality of being involved in gangs and the reality that carrying a knife will not protect them but put them at more risk of being hurt or of hurting someone.

“It’s about showing people there are alternatives to take their lives in a positive direction and helping them to do that.”

Essex County Council has also set aside £500,000 for the PFCC to commission services and projects for young people who are at risk of being exploited and being involved in crime.

Acting Chief Constable Wells empathised the public can play a key part in reducing knife crime across Essex, saying: “We urge you to report anyone that you know is carrying a knife. You can do this anonymously via Fearless who will pass on any reports to us.

“We know that you might not want somebody close to you to get in trouble for carrying a knife but by helping us take knives off the street

“You could be saving somebody’s life and saving their family, friends and the wider community from a lifetime of devastation.”