WE ARE not sure if Stanford councillor Shane Hebb mistook police boss, Nick Alston for Lord Crawley in Downton Abbey but nevertheless, he has praised him highly for his appearance at a recent crime summit in Stanford-le-Hope.
Police boss Nick Alston CBE visited East Thurrock last week to discuss the crime, disorder and policing issues that are on the lips of local residents.
Residents, volunteers, press and politicians – largely from all over the east of the borough – turned out to hear Nick talk about crime in their area, what’s happening about it, and to ask him questions about some of the important issues.
Cllr Shane Hebb said: “MP Stephen Metcalfe and myself contacted Nick Alston about a run of burglaries at the back end of last year in Stanford-le-Hope, and eventually this led to us asking for a public meeting in the east of the borough following a successful meeting in Ockendon, and another one that was due in Tilbury. Nick was gracious enough to accept, and he came down last week to chat to local people about the issues which are bothering them”.
In an energised meeting of some 40-50 people, Nick gave a talk on the financial pressures Essex Police find itself in, and worked to highlight that despite a reduction in funding, crime in the borough was going on a downward trend.
Cllr Hebb continued: “There was good debate from everyone in the room. It was a typically blunt and candid Q&A session between the people and the police, and we hope that some of the frustrations people may have with the police service was addressed and taken on board. Nick was under no impression that all was rosy – there remains much to be done, and response times remains topical and relevant to the East Thurrock community, as it does your local representatives. We heard lots of cases where service needs to improve and be as superb as many other Essex Police cases are often handled”.
After the meeting, local Member of Parliament, Stephen Metcalfe summed up and thanked everyone for coming to engage with Nick. Afterward, residents spent more time chatting to Nick and the local police. “It was great to have Nick and his police colleagues down to talk to us”, said Shane Hebb. “Can I give my thanks to them all for the hard work they put in daily to make our streets and neighbourhoods safe…”