Action plan revealed to cut Essex crime after 22% rise in offences

Norfolk Constabulary said that crime levels in Great Yarmouth as a whole were "in line with the rest

Essex Police has announced plans to tackle rising crime over the past four years - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

New figures have revealed that drug crimes have risen 124% in Essex, rape and sexual assaults by 57% and murder by 20%.

Now Essex's police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst has announced his plans to tackle the problems, which are part of a 22% rise in crime over the past four years.

While the figures are concerning, the force says there have been successes in other areas - with burglary down by 33%, and a 15% drop in anti-social behaviour.

Theft has also decreased by 30% and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads has gone down by 29%.

In addition, public confidence in Essex Police has gone up from  69% to 79% in the past three years.

Police and crime commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, at an event with the fire service earlier this

Essex's police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst says huge strides have been made in tackling crime - Credit: Archant

Mr Hirst said: "We have made huge strides in recent years. Our commitment to local, visible, accessible policing has led to an extra 500 police officers in Essex with 300 more to come.

"New town centres teams, a Rural Engagement Team and Business Crime Team are making a difference and our Special Constabulary is now the second largest, and fastest growing in the country with over 500 officers.

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"What we are doing is working but we need to do more of it. Drug driven violence, gangs and domestic abuse are all having an impact on life in our county and we need to tackle these.

"We also need to protect the vulnerable from being preyed on by County Lines gangs, we need to protect people in their homes from domestic abuse and we need to protect women and girls from violence and abuse on our streets."

Mr Hirst said working with the community is key to identifying where people are most at risk and deliver effective interventions to keep them safe.

He said more prevention work, ensuring police are part of local communities, and working closely in partnership with other services across Essex will be essential to cut crime.

Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington, chief constable of Essex Police Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington, chief constable of Essex Police Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Gary Kenton

Key targets will include reducing drug driven violence, reducing violence against women and girls, protecting vulnerable people and breaking the cycle of domestic abuse, preventing dog theft, improving safety on the roads, and preventing business crime, fraud and cyber crime.

Essex Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: "Our pioneering work developed to establish policing ‘hotspots’ to cut violent crime is being rolled out across the UK.

"Serious criminals who wrongly believe that they can exploit the vulnerable and escape detection are being brought to justice, both within the UK and overseas.

"Violent offenders are not only being tracked down and arrested but also remanded in custody due to the professionalism of our investigations.

"Our detectives are conducting rapid, complex enquiries, arresting suspects, and convicting criminals, wherever they are based. All of them are supported by the police staff that provide the range of essential services without which we could not police."