Epping Forest’s new Chief Inspector began work yesterday.

Denise Morrissey has been a police officer for almost 17 years and returned to the district yesterday having served as Epping Forest’s neighbourhood police inspector in 2007.

She has come from a position as a detective chief inspector in crime and public protection department and will now oversee operations in Epping Forest and Brentwood.

She said: “I’m looking forward to working with some familiar faces again

"The main priority is reducing the amount of burglaries and increasing our crime solving rate.

“Epping Forest and Brentwood is an interesting area to police because of the variety it has.

“It has rural areas and other neighbourhoods which are more similar to Metropolitan boroughs so there are a variety of challenges.

The main challenge Ch Insp Morrissey highlighted were travelling criminality from London boroughs.

She added: "I want to ensure I know our partners in neighbouring Metropolitan boroughs as well as those in Essex.

Ch Insp Morrisey won a National Police Bravery Award in 2010 while working as a Detective Chief Inspector in Hertfordshire for her work victims and witnesses.

She will be in the post for a minimum of two years unless she is promoted and she replaces Tracey Harman who held the position on a temporary basis since May last year.

Ch Insp Harman has taken up an executive support role for the Chief Constable’s office.