Uttlesford’s top cop denies that residents feel unsafe in the district

PUBLISHED: 08:31 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:32 30 May 2010

CLAIMS that Uttlesford is unsafe when it comes to crime have been refuted by the districts top police officer. As part of an election campaign to gain the Saffron Walden seat in the House of Commons, liberal democrats announced that they would put extr

CLAIMS that Uttlesford is "unsafe" when it comes to crime have been refuted by the districts' top police officer.

As part of an election campaign to gain the Saffron Walden seat in the House of Commons, liberal democrats announced that they would put extra officers on the streets to tackle crime.

Lib Dem candidate Peter Wilcock said: "People in this constituency are often telling me how they feel unsafe.

"Expensive ID cards aren't going to change that, but an extra officer walking down the High Street or more police in Saffron Walden or Great Dunmow on a Friday night will.

"The Liberal Democrats are committed to more police, and this is the only way to create safer streets."

However, Essex police chief inspector Joe Wrigley has poured cold water on the political claims saying that extra staff have already been brought in, crime figures are down, and that his officers have been told that residents are happy with policing in the area.

He added: "People in Saffron Walden and across Uttlesford do experience crime from time to time but only Rochford and Maldon have lower crime levels than here.

"We are a land locked district with busy roads and an international airport within our boundaries and still we experience marginally over seven crimes a day."

Chf Insp Wrigley admitted that slight rise in crime had occurred this compared to last year, but added that in comparison that is still down 200 crimes from 2008.

"At our community forums and neighbourhood engagement events we are consistently told that our communities are happy with policing in this area," he said.

"Local police work hard with their partners to drive down crime and bring criminals to book. There have been less dwelling burglaries this year than last year and the year before and numbers of other crimes are comparable.

He added: "We have ambitious plans to improve our policing service to rural communities and our establishment of officers has increased slightly under the Essex Police Apex project.

"In fact we have recently been allocated an additional sergeant to assist us supervising our neighbourhood policing teams."

WHAT do you think? Visit our homepage to vote in our poll - our question is, do you think Uttlesford is safe? Click YES or NO.

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