Police are going undercover to catch teenagers committing crime and anti-social behaviour on a notorious estate – disguised as HOODIES.
Officers from Essex police dressed in hoodies and jeans to blend in say they have been able to catch offenders in the act at Canvey Island estate, near Basildon, Essex.
Vandals have been caught damaging property and smoking cannabis unaware they under surveillance by police.
Officers responded to complaints from residents living in the Canvey Island estate about a few groups of teenagers damaging cars, swearing and keeping them awake at night.
Pc Christian Howell of Essex police said that the tactics had enabled police to catch criminals and send out a ”We’re watching you” message.
He said: ”We’ve had great success in putting on our hoodies and baseball caps to try to dress like the teenagers.
”It means we can keep an eye on them without them knowing that we’re watching them.”
The team have visited troublemakers in the area and used a surveillance van fitted with six video cameras and a thermal imaging camera.
Officers also used dispersal powers to remove people over 10 from the area for up to 48 hours if they were likely to commit anti-social behaviour as a result of consuming alcohol.