ORSETT residents have contacted Essex Police in numbers over their concerns that there is a crime wave in the village.
From conversations in the street, outside the school and on social media outlets, it seemed that many residents had first or second hand experience of crime in the last few months.
Residents, such as Damian Walters, made their feelings known to the local officers.
In a letter to Essex Police he said:
“I believe that criminal activity and anti-social behaviour is on the rise here in our village. Recent reports of car theft, theft from motor vehicles, criminal damage, burglary, anti-social behaviour and this morning (7am) I hear aggravated burglary are examples and demonstration that Orsett has become a target for criminal activity (fact).
Whilst I accept that policing resources are are being cut, and that the county no doubt has crime hot spots with greater needs, I do believe that our village is being ignored, despite the crime figures on the rise. This is something I do not accept. Frankly I now want to know what you intend to do about it.
Mr Walter’s fears were echoed by other residents such as John Corbett who also wrote to Essex Police.
In his letter, Mr Corbett said: “Car crime, burglary and general anti-social behaviour have all increased significantly in recent months and whilst the area has not yet become akin to an inner city no-go area, there is genuine fear amongst residents, especially those of the older generation about venturing out after dark.
“Apart from one patrol car, I cannot recall seeing a police foot-patrol in Orsett for about two years and then that was a PCSO. If reports are to be believed, even response times to genuine crimes appear to be low priority.
Whilst I accept that Essex Police have finite resources, ignoring an area until crime levels dictate that additional Policing is provided would seem to be a flawed, short-sighted policy.
The residents grew increasingly frustrated at a lack of communication from Essex Police.
But residents were fulsome in their praise for local councillor, Sue Little, who, when alerted regarding concerns jumped into action.
Cllr Little said: “I have spoken to a number of residents, listened and put their concerns to not only the police but will also be contacting the newly elected crime commissioner, Nick Alston.
“We want our Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon residents to feel and stay safe and cllr Revell and I are committed to ensuring this.”
Local police officer, PC James wrote back to a number of the residents.
He said: “I have received several emails from residents from the Orsett Village over the last week and I have been looking into the concerns raised by everyone.
I can fully understand your concerns and those of other residents in the Orsett Village. I can assure you that I am fully aware of the situation in the area and especially regarding the recent aggravated burglary that you mentioned.
“Although the crime figures show that there has not been an increase of reported crimes compared to last year we are aware of the increase of reports of thefts and burglaries in the area recently.
“I can also see that there has been an increase in reports from residents of suspicious persons/activity in the area. We are in the process of looking through these incidents to see if there is a pattern regarding times/days of the week, etc that these are being reported, so that we can focus our patrols at core times.
“I would like to assure you that I will be directing my Officers to pay more attention to the Orsett Village area and increase our routine patrols. I will be making this one of my priorty areas and will be asking for regular updates from my Officers in regards to their patrols and will monitor the situation closely.”
It seems to have done the trick. One of the residents who had complained, Janet Corbett, reported back on Facebook.
Janet said: “I have seen several patrol cars about in the last few days and on Thursday night a “local” bobby on a cycle (I say local as he had cycled up from Tilbury!!) riding up to doors and garages about 11pm.”