Crime falls by 6% in Essex

CRIME rates have fallen by 6% year-on-year in Essex - and police bosses have pledged to do more to continue the trend.

James Hore

CRIME rates have fallen by 6% year-on-year in Essex - and police bosses have pledged to do more to continue the trend.

Robert Chambers, chairman of Essex Police Authority, welcomed the drop in overall crime in the county.

However, there are “still areas for improvement” with serious violent crime up by more than 8% and nearly 20% above the force's target.


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A report by Essex's Chief Constable revealed there were 1,798 fewer crimes in the first three months of the year, compared to 2008-9.

The results placed Essex as the second best in the country when judged against similar forces such as Cambridgeshire and Devon and Cornwall.

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And the report also revealed Essex's detection rates for the first three months of the year were the best in the country when compared to similar forces.

Robberies, burglaries, vehicle crime and racially aggravated offences were all down compared to last year.

Mr Chambers said he disagreed with those who claim the overall reduction was due to less people reporting crime.

He said: “What we can say about the Essex policing philosophy is that it is simple policing if you like.

“We are discouraging criminals from committing crime in the county and discouraging them from coming into Essex and sorry if that means they are committing crime elsewhere, but that does not interest us - so long as they don't come into Essex.”

He acknowledged many of the force's measures were “old fashioned”, such as putting bobbies on the beat, and on bikes, saying meant more intelligence was being gathered as a result.

He said: “If you think back to 10 years ago and more, governments of both political persuasions were saying to police 'you can do more work thanks to computers'.

“But we have shown you can't beat face to face policing because if you cannot talk to the public how are you going to get their confidence?

“This is a dramatic fall in crime and we aim to continue the trend. People have said that the crime is not being reported, but we believe it is being reported more as the trust grows.”

Tracey Chapman, the Essex county councillor in charge of environment, said: “This is very encouraging news and I hope this trend continues throughout the year.

“Essex County Council is committed to making Essex the safest county in England, and in 2009-10 we are working with Essex Police and partners to deliver local operations to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Essex Police Authority is an independent organisation whose job it is to support, oversee and challenge the work of the force and its main role is to maintain an “efficient and effective” force for the county.

The authority members will meet next week to discuss the Chief Constable's report.

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