WEAPON sweeps, speed checks and high visibility patrols were deployed to tackle issues raised by residents in the latest edition of a community initiative.

The Safer Colchester Partnership spoke to residents living around Forest Road and Magnolia Drive in Greenstead, Colchester, ahead of the Street Weeks event at the end of last month about their concerns so they could action upon them.

And during a dedicated week of action police officers used stop and search powers to identify anyone carrying weapons or drugs which resulted in two cannabis warnings and two arrests on suspicion of theft.

The Volunteer Police Cadets assisted with a search of Magnolia Fields to look for any weapons that might have been hidden by criminals for future use - drugs paraphernalia and a bag of suspected drugs were found.

There were also speed checks in Avon Way and a crackdown on anti-social riding of motorbikes on the Salary Brook Trail.

Community engagement events were also held at the Greenstead Community Centre and Essex University where partners including Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Colchester Council, the Royal Military Police and many others were present.

The council has helped fund Street Weeks events with a £10,000 cashpot as part of its Better Colchester campaign.

Sgt Rob Temme said: “Street Weeks is all about listening to residents and getting the right organisations involved to fix the problems they highlight, and I want to thank all our officers, volunteers and partners who contributed works.

“The action taken last week is in addition to our every day policing and partnership working in the area, and I want to thank residents for taking the time to talk to us and to report issues to us.

"The information we received was really important to help us identifying and tackling problems, and I continue to urge people to report crime to us.

“You can do this in a number of ways, both face to face, online or on the phone, and you are also welcome at any of our Coffee with Cops and other meetings."

Public safety boss Mike Lilley (Lab) said: “Initiatives like Street Weeks are a fantastic way for a wide range of partners to come together and work with local communities to tackle their concerns.

“We are committed to working with communities, the police and other community safety partners to develop even closer ways of sharing information and to work together to achieve the aim of having even safer communities.

"It is only by joint initiatives like Street Weeks we can turn this ambition into a reality.”

Essex University registrar Bryn Morris said: “We value highly our partnership with Essex Police and look forward to working even more closely with them in the future.

"The Street Weeks initiative has helped to forge links between the police and our students, building co-operation and confidence amongst members of the university community.”