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Essex Police in new watchdog probe

Essex Police headquarters Credit: ITV Anglia

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating why Essex Police took a month to arrest a man for breaching a restraining order.

A woman in Southend reported three separate incidents to officers between 27 May and 26 June 2014.

The IPCC is looking at whether victim protection measures were put in place after receiving the report, and whether officers complied with Essex Police and national policies relating to harassment and domestic violence.

Last year, the force was criticised in another IPCC report over it's handling of the case surrounding the murder of Maria Stubbings in Chelmsford in 2008.

IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said: "Our investigators have met with the woman to explain our role and independent investigation into the force's actions after they received her report earlier this year. The investigation will be looking at whether officers complied with the relevant policies and guidelines."

Criminal gang members jailed for series of Christmas raids

Constanton Zaharia and Alexandru Andrei Credit: Essex police

Two members of an organised crime gang have been jailed for their part in a series of burglaries in Essex.

Constantin Zaharia and Alexandru Andrei were part of a gang suspected of breaking into 29 homes in the Stansted and Saffron Walden areas, along with places in Hertfordshire, Kent and Suffolk.

11 of the Essex burglaries took place on Christmas Day 2013.

In total the gang took property valued at £175,000 and caused £30,000 of damage as they smashed their way into homes.

The Romanian nationals were arrested at Dover on December 29th by Kent police.

Constantin Zaharia admitted six burglaries in Saffron Walden and was jailed for 3 years, while Alexandru Andrei pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and was jailed for 28 months. Both were ordered to be be deported.

This has been a wide-ranging investigation in the UK and internationally. We know that these two men were members of an organised crime group and enquiries are continuing to bring other members of the gang before the courts.

– DC Nick Campbell, Braintree CID


CCTV images released after attack in Southend

CCTV from a takeaway in Southend Credit: Essex police

Essex police has released CCTV images of four men they want to trace after a man in his 20s was left with a fractured skull after he was assaulted in Southend.

It happened in Essex Street near the junction of Chichester Road on Monday 18th August.

The victim suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

Police are trying to identify four men Credit: Essex police

Anyone who recognises the four men from the CCTV images should contact Pc Chris Flynn at Southend CID via Essex police 101, or the can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

Essex rogue builders jailed

A gang of rogue traders who left dozens of elderly people penniless by overcharging them for shoddy building work have been jailed.

The group, who operated around Clacton and Colchester in Essex, targeted their victims between 2009 and 2013.

Many lived alone, had dementia or were seriously ill.

Detectives and trading standards officers built their case around 42 victims aged 65 to 99 but believe the actual number of victims may total about 140.

Search for missing man called off after body is found

Police have called off a search for a missing man after a body was found in the sea near Clacton.

Officers believe that the man found at Holland Haven is 63 year old Ronald King, who had not been seen since Friday May 16.

Relatives of Mr King have been informed.

DI Russ Cole, who was leading the search said: "Sadly we believe the body found today is Mr King and we are still awaiting formal identification".


Woman clings to car as thief drives off

A woman has been seriously injured after thieves stole her car and drove off - with her still clinging to it.

It happened at about 2.30pm this afternoon at Curling Tye in Basildon.

A man stopped the victim, claiming there was something in the road.

As the driver, from Basildon, got out of her grey Honda CR-V estate to have a look, he jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off with the woman clinging to the vehicle.

She was thrown from the car and is currently in Basildon Hospital with serious injuries.

The thief is described as wearing a dark hooded top and dark bottoms.

Evidence of sex abuse found in former teacher's home

Potential home buyers uncovered evidence of child sex abuse in the house of a former teacher as they viewed a property.

Images were uncovered in a house at Chapel Road, in Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex, which had previously belonged to retired teacher Christopher Dobson.

After his death his next of kin had decided to sell the property but when the prospective buyers began cleaning they found incriminating evidence and alerted police.

Essex Police are now trying to establish the extent of the unmarried 70-year-old's alleged offending.

Mr Dobson, who had no children and was also involved in youth football, died in December 2012.

Det Ch Insp Mark Hall, who is leading the investigation, said: "It is my belief that Christopher Dobson committed serious criminal offences against children over a period of years."

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