FOR THOSE OF us who have been attending similar seminars for nigh on thirty years, they are usually highly defensive or somewhat self-congratulatory affairs.
But last night’s (Tuesday) the Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston held a meeting at Thurrock Council’s civic offices which gave the public a chance to grill Mr Alston and his team.
Mr Alston was flanked by Thurrock Council portfolio holder, cllr Angie Gaywood, chief inspector Ben Hodder and chief executive of Thurrock Council, Graham Farrant.
In front of a packed audience (mostly representatives of organisations and about five members of the public), Mr Alston and his team gave an honest assessment of state of crime in Thurrock.
Chief Inspector Hodder gave a frank admission that burglary detections were not what they should be but that they were working on it with a series of operations, especially in the Stanford and Corringham area.
He also told the audience that they had stopped over a thousand people as part of a concerted effort to fight crime.
A member of police watchdog, Independent Advisory Watchdog, Neil Woodbridge, expressed his concerns over the fifteen break-ins to Asian properties over recent months.
Former mayor, cllr Yash Gupta added that his own home had been broken into and added that Victim Support “had been no help at all.”
There were also concerns regarding an incident in Springfield Road in Grays last week. A resident told Mr Alston that an elderly resident was held against her will in her garage by a drunken teenager.
She said: “When the police arrived, she was informed that as the suspect was drunk, he was not accountable for her actions.”
Chief Inspector Hodder said he would look into it.
South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre expressed their concerns regarding the number of convicted sex offenders in Thurrock that evaded jail and were given cautions instead. In 2012-13 that number had risen to 73.
Reporting back, Det. Supt Euan Wilson gave a series of explanations regarding why that number was so high including cases where they parents and victim were “happy” with a caution being given.
Chair of Sericc, Sheila Coates MBE also highlighted the difference between the number of rapes reported to them as opposed to those reported to the police.