Live updates

Essex Police deal with 1,800 incidents in 'busiest 24 hours' of year

Essex Police have had their busiest 24 hours of the year so far. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex Police say they've had their busiest 24 hours so far this year.

From 6am yesterday (July 7) to 6am today, 1,860 incidents have been reported to the force.

They say it's led to "really heavy demand" on officers and staff and that it compares to just over 1,500 incidents during the same period last year.

“This increase in demand could be down to a number of factors but has meant officers and staff across the county have been working even harder to keep our communities in Essex safe and I want to thank them for that.

“I would ask the public to help us out too and really think about whether they need to call us before picking up the phone. Is it a police incident or would another agency be more appropriate? Could you report this crime online?

“Of course if you see a crime taking place call us on 101 or if it’s an emergency dial 999.”

– Chief Supt Paul Wells


Thousands of bees stolen in Essex

Some of the hives which were stolen. Credit: Essex Police

Police are investigating after thousands of bees were stolen in Essex.

Sixteen colonies were taken inside their hives, which weigh about 50kg each.

It happened sometime overnight on Thursday (May 17), between Beazley End and Bocking Churchstreet in Braintree.

Essex Police want anyone with information to contact them.

"If you saw any suspicious activity in the area during this time, please call 101 and quote reference number 42/69326/18.

"Alternatively, you can contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form."

– Essex Police spokesman

Man released without charge over Essex attempted rape

Essex Police released an e-fit of a man they are trying to trace. Credit: Essex Police.

A man arrested in connection with the attempted rape of a woman in Witham has been released without charge.

Detectives are now making a fresh appeal for witnesses to what happened on January 3rd to a woman in her 20s.

They had arrested a man on January 30th but this afternoon they confirmed he had been eliminated from their enquiries.

The victim was attacked by a man as she walked along a pathway in Powers Hall End and Bluebell Close/Bramble Road. She managed to fight him off and got away.

The man is described as white, just under 6ft tall, of large build, with dark bushy eyebrows, green eyes and short, shaved dark hair.

He was seen wearing a black puffed jacket with a hood and bright blue denim jeans and was carrying a grey and black backpack. The man is believed to have spoken with a foreign accent.

Anybody with information can contact the Stanway Major Investigation Team on 101 or email

Croc shock for police on a drugs raid in Essex

Officers working on a drugs investigation had an unexpected surprise when they found a 4ft crocodile and 16 live snakes during a house search in Essex.

A man was arrested earlier this week in connection with an ongoing investigation into a cannabis factory found in an industrial unit in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, in November 2015.

Following this week's arrest, officers searched a house in Burdett Avenue, Westcliff where they found a caiman crocodile and 16 live snakes. Among them were cobras, copperheads, pythons, a Madagascan giant hognose snake and a scorpion.

A Caiman Crocodile similar to the one found by police in Essex

Detective Inspector Steve Nelson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:

We are working together with the RSPCA as part of the investigation into how these wild animals came to be kept in such conditions. As officers we come across many different finds during our investigations and these are among the more unusual.”

– DI Steve Nelson

A 36-year-old man from Basildon was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production, keeping a dangerous animal without a licence, and animal cruelty offences. He was released on bail until February 13, pending further enquiries.


Burglary victim 'let down' by police over raid caught on CCTV

Security footage captured an alleged burglary in progress in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. Credit: CCTV

Essex Police have admitted "letting down" a businessman who had clear CCTV of alleged thieves stealing £26,000 worth of furniture from his warehouse but was told by officers they didn't have time to investigate.

Jack Whiteley was relieved to find his security measures in the Leigh-on-Sea area of Southend had captured footage of the theft last month and handed it straight to officers.

The businessman says delays by police could have scuppered his chances of getting his property back. Two people have now been arrested.

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Helen Keenan

Police hunt fake charity collector targeting vulnerable people

An efit image of a woman police in Harlow would like to trace in connection with a burglary and fraudulent charity collection. Credit: Essex Police

Police in Essex are hunting a fake charity collector in the Harlow area who is targeting vulnerable people.

They have issued an efit image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection to a burglary and a number of fraudulent incidents.

On Monday 28 August the woman went to a house in Halling Hill claiming to be a charity representative and asked to use the victim’s toilet.

The victim, a woman in her late-80s, but then heard her in an upstairs bedroom. The victim confronted the woman and asked her to leave. Items had been disturbed in the bedroom.

Later officers received reports that a woman matching the same description, had approached a number of houses in Long Ley, saying she was deaf and was collecting money for a deaf children’s charity.

Load more updates