WEEKEND OF VIOLENCE IN SOUTH OCKENDON HIGHLIGHTS DEADLY EFFECT OF TORY POLICE CUTS CLAIMS LABOUR
THIS weekend South Ockendon was hit by a wave of armed robberies which had residents questioning the safety of their streets. Thurrock Labour leader Jane Pothecary summed up the concerns of local people.
“This spate of violence is as clear a signal as you can get, that violent criminals in our borough don’t fear arrest. Essex Police has made genuine attempts to improve police visibility with the new Town Centre teams but against the damning background of damaging police cuts, it clearly isn’t enough. Tory cuts have stolen 1000 officers from streets of Essex since 2010 and seen three of Thurrock’s four police stations close. What kind of message does that send to criminals?
“Thurrock Council’s own figures show that violent crime is up 42% this year, while possession of weapons is up nearly 45%. Either local youths have so little concern for the police that they feel they can walk around our streets armed without consequence, or they are feeling sufficiently afraid for their own safety that they are arming themselves. Either way, we are seeing a crisis and only serious investment in police resources – not Boris Bus promises, but serious, targeted investment – is going to save our borough from becoming the Wild West.”