July 04, 2006

Bullish picture from Essex chief

ESSEX's police chief has said he believes the county will witness the biggest reduction in crime anywhere in the UK in the coming 12 months, reports the East Anglian Daily Times.
Chief Constable Roger Baker said it was “time to really start to deliver” on promises of making Essex a safer place to be, with even more officers on the streets and all reported crimes investigated. It was this time last year that Mr Baker made his mark, telling those thinking of committing crime in Essex to bring a toothbrush “because you won't be going home” and branding criminals “thick”.

Since then the force has made more than 13,000 additional arrests, up by more than 30%, detection rates increased and the number of crimes dropped by more than 1,800.He said they had also exceeded targets for the number of people brought to justice in Essex.... “My belief is that we will see the biggest reduction in crime in Essex - more than anywhere else in England and Wales this year,” he said.

He revealed that when he took over Essex Police did not investigate all reported crimes - only attending about 70% of incidents. Now the police take the attitude that all crime, no matter how minor, should be dealt with.... Mr Baker admitted there had been rare occasions, due to a breakdown in communications, when officers had not turned up to a reported crime for several days which he said was “quite frankly not good enough”.

Speaking on the proposed merger of Essex Police with their counterparts in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire he said he wholeheartedly believed the force could do business differently, possibly sharing some services with other forces, but that they should remain stand alone.

However, he said it was important for the public to have their say on the Home Office merger proposals.

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