After spate of crime following Police cuts, R4U steps in to protect local communities

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has re-committed to hiring Police Community Support Officers after a withdrawal of local policing by Westminster politicians has led to a doubling of crime and spate of high-profile ram raids across Uttlesford district.

Paul Fairhurst (R4U) Paul Fairhurst (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Fairhurst, who is also Saffron Walden Mayor, said “Enough is enough. Brazen criminals are now mocking the inability of our cash-strapped police to do their job. After last week’s bank raid in Saffron Walden it was reported that the criminals even chained gates to slow the police; and to commit their crime they allegedly stole a digger from the building company currently turning the old Police Station site in to luxury homes. This state of lawlessness is a direct result of front-line policing cuts forced though by Westminster politicians. Criminals know they can ram-raid, steal, and burgle our homes, shops and business unhindered.”

“The old Police Station was a local asset used to protect and serve our community. It is unacceptable to residents that proceeds of the £2.2millon sale were siphoned off by the political Police Commissioner to be used outside of Uttlesford. That could have funded local police officers for a decade or more. Why do they continue to fail to put residents and our police first?”

“We are facing an unpresented crime wave. Crime has more than doubled since the retreat of most of the night-time policing to Braintree – and shockingly we’re paying them more Council tax for this failure. In the last 6 weeks alone there have been ram-raids at the Co-op in Stansted, Aldi and the Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden. And village Facebook groups are awash with concerns from residents who constantly see white vans prowling their communities.”

“Westminster political parties, their policies, and their Police Commissioner stooges are clearly not working for us. Residents demand a change to local policing and until then, wherever residents have elected R4U councillors, we’re championing locally funded Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on our streets, as we have in Saffron Walden, Newport, Elsenham and Henham.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at