A COLCHESTER estate is to be blitzed under a groundbreaking pilot scheme.

From September 1, Monkwick will see more police patrols, home visits from officers and street wardens, more clean-ups by Colchester Council work and increased youth work.

The action, aimed at reducing crime, the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour, is following the “broken windows” theory.

This states that if communities are allowed to become run-down, then more serious crime will inevitably follow.

Tim Young, Colchester councillor responsible for street and waste services, said the scheme was building on three days of action in the estate, as well as High Woods and Greenstead, over the past year.

He added: “This will be a sustained period of activity involving tackling anti-social behaviour, keeping the place clean, cutting graffiti and basically making people feel proud of their area.

“We hope to make a really positive and sustained impact.

“I don’t think anywhere in Colchester is particularly downtrodden, but we are selecting areas that could do with a bit of a lift.

“Colchester is the only area having one of these pilots and we’re absolutely delighted.”

Monkwick will be the first of three areas in Colchester benefiting from the 12-month Safer Colchester scheme, paid for with £100,000 from Essex County Council, and matched with resources from Colchester Council, Essex Police and the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership.

The other two areas have yet to be revealed and will follow a major “day of action” in January and May.

Monkwick councillor Dave Harris said: “I’m pleased the extra money is coming to an area where it will make a difference.”

Chief Superintendent Tim Newcomb said he was committing “significant resources” to the scheme.

He added: “I believe, by working together intensively on local problems at street level, we can inspire local people to get involved in activities that will reduce crime and antisocial behaviour permanently.

“I have high hopes this will leave a legacy of reduced fear of crime and prove a concept that can be rolled out across the county.”