Crime up nearly 13% in Essex – R4U alarmed as local police ‘handcuffed’ by spending cuts and Police Commissioner

Crime in Essex is up nearly 13% in a year and R4U has expressed alarm about the performance of Essex police under the current Police and Crime Commissioner. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published their Annual Report on 2nd March that shows the performance of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, including Essex.

Alex Armstrong (R4U) Alex Armstrong (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Alex Armstrong said “Whilst Essex Police was ranked in the middle of the pack and received an overall Good rating, there are a number of underlying statistics which are greatly alarming. For example crime in Essex has risen 65% faster than the country’s average and is rapidly increasing. In fact it is nearly 13% higher than a year ago, and that is on top of an 11% increase over the last 5 years. Our police are also 20% worse at catching criminals than the national average, and in fact charge fewer than 10% of perpetrators. No wonder Essex residents are 13% less satisfied with their police than the national average.

Alex Armstrong continued “These new local crime figures are supported by what we are seeing on the streets. In Dunmow we’ve had 2 bank-raids in the last year; in Walden and along the M11 corridor there have been many burglaries and thefts; and in Newport car windows have repeatedly been smashed and residents’ cars burnt out for months now. But it is not surprising that crimes aren’t being solved since our Police and Crime Commissioner has retreated our police to Braintree. Essex doesn’t stop at the A120 and this report shows we need better and visible local policing in our district. To be clear, we strongly support the police themselves, but they have been handcuffed by central government cuts over the last 5 years. It is the Conservative Essex Police Commissioner who is failing to protect Uttlesford residents. He told us that his police force is the poorest funded in the county, so why isn’t he fighting for more rather than just supporting his Tory party cuts? It’s not good enough and residents are concerned.

Essex Police Performance Numbers

The HMIC annual report on Essex police is available on their website here (PDF). The overall rating for Essex Police is good, however the report shows:

  • There is a significant increase in crime in Essex compared with the rest of the country, both over the last 5 years and particularly in the last year:
    • Reported crime is up 12.9% year-on-year, compared with an increase of 7.8% year-on-year nationally, which is a 65% greater increase in Essex.
    • The 5 year figure shows an increase in reported crime in Essex of 10.9%. This compares with a 3.4% REDUCTION in crime nationally.
  • Essex police are 20% worse at catching criminals
    • Police ‘outcomes’ in Essex are below national levels: only 9.7% charged/summonsed vs 12.1% nationally. That is 20% below the national average.
  • Residents are 13% less satisfied with Essex police than nationally
    • Essex Police has a 72.8% satisfaction rating compared with 83.3% nationally, which is 13% below the national average
  • Essex Police earn a “Requires Improvement” rating for “protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local party of towns and villages. The party was formed by a number of residents’ groups in north-west Essex to provide a strong, independent voice for local people. The party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not politicians from Westminster parties.

R4U is the fastest growing local political movement in the district. In 2015 it became the second party at Uttlesford District Council. In 2017 R4U achieved further gains with a 60% share of the vote in a local district council by-election. Success has been based on the group’s desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.
Residents for Uttlesford also has numerous Town and Parish Councillors. It is the largest party at Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt its finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards.

R4U can be found on the web at

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