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Changes to policing needed in wake of murders, MP warns

PUBLISHED: 13:48 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:48 17 July 2019

Conservative MP for Clacton Giles Watling has called for changes to policing amid two deaths in his constituency Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Conservative MP for Clacton Giles Watling has called for changes to policing amid two deaths in his constituency Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

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More community engagement by police officers is needed following two murders, the MP for the area where they happened has said.

Clacton MP Giles Watling's comments come following the deaths of 45-year-old Isabella Mitchell in Clacton on Monday, July 15 and 58-year-old Andrew Broomfield in nearby Jaywick on Friday, July 12.

In spite of the two incidents, Mr Watling stressed Clacton and Jaywick are "great places to live with a fantastic sense of community".

The former actor believes increasing the numbers of police officers could help, but stressed engaging with communities is key to success.

"There could be police on almost every street corner," he said. "But criminals will find one where there isn't.

"What there needs to be is increased engagement with the community.

"Our police are working their socks off but we need to find out what we are doing wrong."

Before Ms Mitchell's murder, Mr Watling coincidentally submitted a parliamentary question to the home secretary asking what more could be done to reduce violent crime.

Of the deaths, Mr Watling said: "It is dreadful news. We just need to get on top of this.

"Something is really wrong with today's society - we need to take violence off our streets."

Speaking after the murders, Essex Police temporary chief inspector Darren Deex said the force has invested in more visible policing in the last two years.

It has also partnered with Tendring District Council to see more officers work extra hours during the summer.

From next week, the force will also be introducing "Town Centre Teams" in an effort to "help victims and the vulnerable, tackle violence, and increase visibility".

Police have arrested a 52-year-old man in relation to Ms Mitchell's murder, while the force continue to wish to speak to Clacton man Ian Woolcomb regarding the earlier murder in Jaywick.

Those with information regarding the murders should contact police on 101.

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