New chief signals arrests blitz

THE new Essex Police chief has outlined how he intends to make the county one of the country's safest – starting with a blitz of 600 arrests.Chief Constable Roger Baker said people could expect to see more officers on the streets and promised if someone calls in with details of a crime or suspicious activity they would get a proper response.

THE new Essex Police chief has outlined how he intends to make the county one of the country's safest – starting with a blitz of 600 arrests.

Chief Constable Roger Baker said people could expect to see more officers on the streets and promised if someone calls in with details of a crime or suspicious activity they would get a proper response.

The 46-year-old was officially introduced in his new post yesterday and immediately said he aimed to increase crime detection rates.

Among the plans unveiled at the force's headquarters, Chelmsford, he said he would be reviewing the opening times of police stations to make them more accessible.


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Mr Baker also demanded his officers make at least 600 arrests in his first week in charge, and he said drug dealers would also be targeted.

He said: "Drugs are an evil, I make no bones about that. If you are dealing with drugs in this county, expect to be caught.

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"We can't eradicate it overnight, but nor must we turn a blind eye, we will be red hot, if you are engaged in these activities, if you deal in drugs – you can expect to go to prison."

Later, he added: "Criminals are thick, you would not pick them for your pub quiz team, we know where they are and where they live."

He added the public would play an important part helping officers carry out their work.

"Everyone that contacts the police should receive feedback – most people want action taken and it is right that we take that action.

"Crime and anti-social behaviour will fall further than it has done and fear of crime will also be positively affected.

"Essex is a very safe place to live, work and visit, but it has got to feel safe," he said.

He added the county only had 16 burglaries each day, but suggested people think the figure is a lot higher because of a perception that crime is rife.

The former Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police said to get more police on the streets there would be a review of procedures to free more staff to get out of the office.

"How do we best use our existing resources? We have brilliant staff and, pound for pound, we will match everyone.

"If we do not call back, we have let people down. We have policing by consent, all our intelligence comes from people telling us what is happening – if you put up barriers, then it fails.

"We will go to all jobs, it is more than just giving a number for an insurance claim."

Chief Con Baker's policing career started 28 years ago and he will take on his new role, replacing David Stevens, for the next five years following his selection by the Essex Police Authority.

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