CLACTON'S policing team has started the New Year with a show of force in a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour and drug dealing in the town centre.

Essex Police's Clacton Town Centre Team was set up in July following an increase in police numbers across the county.

The team, led by Sgt Alex Southgate, aims to tackle some of the most prominent issues in the town, including drug dealing and antisocial behaviour.

The team spoke to residents, retailers and visitors to the town on Thursday to get to the root of ongoing issues.

Insp Darren Deex, of the Tendring Community Policing Team, said businesses, such as bars and clubs, experiencing issues with the night time economy, are also being supported to help reduce crime.

He said: "Our priorities are clear - we will be visible to deter crime in the community, we will provide better and more consistent support to victims and to the vulnerable and we will act against anyone who is intent on inflicting violence in our district.

"With our Clacton and Harwich Town Centre Teams, we can be at the centre of these conversations.

"The public know their local area the best, and so do local officers who can put their boots on the ground and their faces in the towns and shops.

"If people have got an issue, or suspect criminal acts are taking place in their community, I need them to feel comfortable reporting it to us.

"If we work together we can keep the tide turning and put a stop to antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, and other insidious crimes that cause irreparable harm to families, friends and whole communities.”

Mr Deex said the team is also working closely with Daniel Kingham, Tendrign Council's antisocial behaviour patrol officer, and other community safety organisations.