Crime in Ockendon: What do the by-election candidates say?

Essex Police

AS crime is high on the agenda in the lives of South Ockendon residents, we thought we would guage the opinion of candidates for the By-Election taking place on Thursday March 22nd.

Anyone who follows crime trends in the borough, will know that the ward of Ockendon comes up quite a lot. High profile murder trials have (and are) taken and taking place.
Burglaries seem to be a common occurrence. Quad bikers and scramblers seem to be a blight on residents lives and residents constantly complain about the state of parks, lorry parking etc.

Labour candidate: Les Strange

“As someone who lives in Ockendon and having spoken to hundreds of other residents in the last year I know what a major issue crime has become in our area under the Tories.

Ever since the Tories closed Ockendon police station, something Labour strongly opposed, violent crime and anti-social behaviour in our area has got worse and worse. The Tories have cut 749 police officers and 353 police community support officers from Essex neighbourhoods and the result has been predictable.

We need to get police back on our streets and that is why Thurrock Labour launched our petition calling for more resources to be invested in policing in Thurrock. Our petition received over 1200 signatures including massive support from Ockendon residents. In contrast Tory MPs recently voted for yet another real terms cuts to policing budgets.

Thurrock Labour also succeeded in pushing through an amendment to the Council budget calling for an additional £300,000 to prevent illegal incursions onto public areas like Dilkes Park and Culver Park.

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their neighbourhood and that is the Labour Party’s number one priority in the coming elections. A Labour government would put 10,000 extra police on our streets and start tackling the crime epidemic created by the Tory police cuts.”

The Thurrock Independent candidate

Thurrock Independent Chairman, Allen Mayes said: “Speaking to residents in Ockendon, an often reoccurring message is that crime is on the rise and they do not feel safe. Drugs seem to be rife and I believe that something has to be done to address this.

“The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has said in a previous Full Council meeting that he will be increasing the tax burden for local residents in a bid to increase the amount of police. Local residents will be expecting a drastic rise in the amount of police officers on the ground as they are rarely ever seen in Ockendon since he closed the local police station. I would expect to see regular patrols of the area as an increased police presence will make people feel safer.

“I also believe the police should be turning up when they are called as the current farce that is the 101 service has resulted in people giving up on reporting things as they see nothing getting done. This has lead to a rise in crime. Unfortunately as the amount of reported crime decreases the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner thinks everything is rosy because his statistics look good.

“People should be able to feel safe and I call on the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to give Ockendon the support it requires and deserves.”

The Conservative candidate is unavailable for comment

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