THE THURROCK Councillor with overall responsibility for crime has said she is “appalled” at reports of under-reporting of crime in Thurrock.
Following the HMIC’s findings of serious under recording of crimes in Essex, cabinet member and Thurrock councillor for Stifford Clays, Angie Gaywood said: “I was appalled to learn of the results of the HMIC’s (the Police watchdog) interim inspection.
“For the last two years we have been told that data provided by Essex Police reflected a true picture of reported crimes, with crime reduction a positive message.
However this report which includes Essex amongst the 13 forces inspected so far, indicates emerging themes of significant under-recording of crime, and serious sexual offences not being recorded.
Whilst there will always be a small degree of human error, it has also been found that a lack of adequate training and supervision and the pressures of workload are key factors.
I have personally challenged the Essex Police budget underspends last year on Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers, and will continue to challenge the cuts being made to Essex Police force by central government – a further £36 million of savings over the next three years.
Cuts to front line policing and reduced visibility in our community can lead to a further increases in crime and added workload to already over stretched police officers.
It is worrying to know that some reported crimes have not been properly recorded and progressed due to officers’ time constraints and even more shocking that victims of serious sexual crimes have not been listened to and adequately supported, it beggars the question have perpetrators even been pursued and brought to justice?
I will therefore be asking the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston some serious questions as to why he believes these findings are good news for our residents when they are not receiving the 100% service they deserve, and what assurances can he provide so that our residents can have the faith and confidence to report all crimes in the knowledge that these will be pursued.
I will be also asking for a breakdown of these results as I am sure residents of Essex and Thurrock want to know what type of crimes have gone unrecorded, and how they have now been dealt with.
“Whilst I acknowledge there is great work being undertaken by our police colleagues and partnership working with the Council to keep our residents safe, these concerns must clearly be voiced so that all crimes will be reported and residents can have the confidence that they are being properly addressed”.