THE youngest Chief Inspector in the county has spoken about his plans to tackle crime in the district.

Chief Inspector Ed Wells, 29, has taken up the role of neighbourhood policing chief in the district and Brentwood, which have been combined as part of Essex Police’s reforms, which will see £40 million a year slashed from the force’s budget by 2015.

He was promoted from his position as Inspector in Chelmsford at the beginning of March and said he was happy with his new post.

“I’ve been told I’m the youngest chief inspector in Essex,” he said. “People get promoted earlier in their careers than me.

“I’ve had some good opportunities and I’m certainly quite happy to be here. I’ve wanted to be a policeman since I was four and I joined the police at about 19.”

As well as adapting to the new role, the married father-of-three is also busy at home, after the arrival of his youngest son in December.

“I go to work for a rest at the moment,” he added.

He said one of his top priorities was to tackle burglary in the district.

“We will appoint people on a daily basis to an area where there have been burglaries,” he added. “We launched an operation on about March 3 that particularly focuses on Chigwell and Loughton, where there have been more burglaries recently.

“We’ll build a picture of where offences are taking place and who the offenders are.”

He said several people had already been found in the area with the equipment for breaking into houses and arrested as a result of the operation.

“For me, that’s a real success, because we’ve got someone we think is about to commit a burglary and got them into custody,” he said.

He has worked in Essex for his entire 11-year career so far and said overseeing Epping Forest and Brentwood together made sense.

“I think there are a lot of similarities in the areas,” he said. “How close we are to the border with London is a similar challenge for us and there’s a similar make-up of quite affluent urban areas and rural areas.

“Most sergeants were already here prior to the restructure, so we’ve got people here who know the area well.”

Q&A with Chief Insp Wells:

What's your earliest memory?

After landing on my head while skiing aged 12 and suffering concussion, most memories before that time are fairly vague!

What would you grab from your home in a fire?

My iPhone, closely followed by my coffee machine.

What would you bring to a desert island?

Also my iPhone and my coffee machine!

When did you last cry?

When my youngest son was born in December.

Do you have any secret talents? I can juggle, fairly badly.

What's your favourite sport?

I love to ski, although don't get much opportunity at the moment. To watch at the moment, it's Formula 1.

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