Police teams across the county will double down on criminal activity and anti-social behaviour in town centres over Christmas.

Teams in Braintree, Witham, Chelmsford, Maldon, Harwich, South Woodham Ferrers, Clacton, Colchester and Saffron Walden were launched in July and August.

The initiative was part of the force’s ongoing commitment to investing in visible, frontline officers.

A Police spokesman said: “Our new Town Centre Teams will be working to keep our towns welcoming places as they prepare for one of the busiest times of year in the run up to Christmas.

“They have been working closely with businesses, partners and community groups to resolve issues specifically affecting their areas, such as anti-social behaviour and prolific shoplifters, giving support vulnerable people and targeting drug dealers.”

The teams have made more than 90 arrests and carried out more than 165 investigations so far.

The Maldon Town Centre Team has been carrying out high visibility patrols as well as joint patrols with the park rangers to deal with anti-social behaviour and disrupt criminals.

Braintree Town Centre Team are carrying out work to tackle drug dealing, patrols, warrants and using stop and search powers as appropriate.

Drugs with a street value of £7,000 were seized during a search warrant at an address in Braintree and four people have been released under investigation on suspicion of drugs offences.

A prolific shoplifter was jailed for 26 weeks last week after officers gathered evidence to charge him with 16 offences of theft.

Witham Town Centre Team has been carrying out high visibility patrols to address any anti-social behaviour and to prevent and deter shoplifting.

The number of reported thefts from shops falling 54% in October compared to the same time last year.

Colchester’s team has carried out high visibility patrols at night to ensure people feel safe on a night out.

Officers in Clacton have carried work under Operation Sceptre to deter and catch anyone intent on committing violent crime.

This has included using knife arches and targeting drug dealers.

Drugs, a stun gun and more than £30,000 in cash were seized during drugs warrants at three addresses in October.