Labour leader slams police cuts

THURROCK Council leader, Cllr John Kent, has hit out at plans to close Corringham police station and to cut the hours of the station in Grays.

He said that in September 2010, the council unanimously agreed a motion that expressed concern at possible “further cuts to policing in Thurrock”.

The motion continued to say the council “resolves to campaign against any cuts deemed unacceptable following appropriate consultation and scrutiny from Thurrock Council”.

Cllr Kent said: “I want to know if Essex Police have approached any other local councils to seek their views. They haven’t approached us!

“Last year we agreed to campaign against further cuts and now we must fulfil that commitment. This isn’t a political matter, it was something agreed unanimously by all members present on the day.”

He added: “I understand the difficulties the police are facing. All public authorities are facing similar issues, but here in Thurrock we have consulted closely with local people and organisations and we have worked tirelessly to reduce the impact of savings on the front line.

“However the proposals announced yesterday by Essex Police mean that no police station in Essex, let alone Thurrock, will be open 24-7, 365 days a year.

“It means there will be no police station at all in the east of Thurrock.

“People just need to think back a few weeks when there were riots in many areas of the country.

“Did they stop at midnight like our police stations will? Of course not.

“Did they only occur in areas where full-time police stations existed? Of course not.

“Do we think the burglars, the trouble-makers or the street thieves will suddenly go home to bed at midnight? Of course not.”

Cllr Kent said: “I will be asking our Overview and Scrutiny committees to look closely at this plan. I want us as a council and as individual councillors to take our community leadership role seriously. We must know what effect these plans will have and we must make known what those effects are.”

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