“Scaremongering” Tory Slammed by Labour MP

South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Angela Smith has slammed Tory candidate Stephen Metcalfe for “scaremongering” over violent crime.

Yesterday, Mr Metcalfe outlined his plans to solve violent crime in the constituency and made reference to 2209 violent attacks in Thurrock over the last ten years, a rise of 113% per cent in the last decade.

Angela Smith rounded on Mr Metcalfe. She said:

“Yet again Mr Metcalfe has simply got it wrong. The selective statistics he quotes from have a clear rider on them – new measurements were introduced in 2002 that are not directly comparable with previous figures. This is because more crimes are recorded under the new system.

“Rather than scaremongering, he should be telling local residents that crime across Essex fell by 6% in the last year. It is now much safer to be out on the streets than when I first became an MP twelve years ago. Across the country, robbery at knifepoint is down by 16%.

Essex Police have also shed some light on the statistics.

Acting Chief Inspector, Rachel Wood said: “Thurrock has grown considerably in the last ten years, seeing an increase of 15,000 residents.

This increase has been beneficial to local people, attracting more jobs and businesses, and this has understandably had a knock on effect on victims of crime in the early stages of development. However, as the district has changed, so has our policing of it, and we are constantly changing our tactics to see a reduction in violent offences.

“The successful implementation of the No Alcohol Zone in Grays High Street is a great step forward for reducing alcohol-related disorder, following the successful multi-agency Operation Mercer, which saw a significant reduction in crime when it was launched last year.

“Alcohol plays a significant part in violent crime, and we work closely with council licensing officers to request reviews of licenses, where appropriate, if we notice a significant increase in incidents at a certain location.”

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