Live updates

Driving instructor's terrifying ordeal

A driving instructor was forced to drive from Colchester to Harwich yesterday by a man who got into his car and threatened him. Police say the instructor was in his AA Driving School car near Sainsbury's at Stanway when the man got into the back seat.

He hit the driver on the head and ordered him to take him to Harwich. At around 12.40pm the man told the victim to stop on Harwich Road in Little Oakley before running off. The victim was not seriously hurt but he was very shaken.

This is an extremely unusual set of circumstances and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the man getting into the car. The vehicle is a black Ford Focus, with AA Driving School written on the sides. It is quite distinctive and at the time of day that this happened there would have been many other motorists and shoppers around. "He did not steal anything from the victim and at this stage his only motive appears to have been to get to Harwich but he has left a frightened and very shaken victim in his wake.

– Det Con Pete Gartland, Colchester CID

Police say the attacker was a large white man, aged around 45, with a chubby face and dark stubble. He wore a blue denim baseball cap, a grey waterproof jacket, and was around 5ft 10in to 6ft tall.

Anyone with information should ring Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Essex Police to target burglars

Essex Police will be cracking down on burglary this autumn as part of a campaign to tackle the crime in the county
Essex Police will be cracking down on burglary this autumn as part of a campaign to tackle the crime in the county Credit: ITV Anglia

Essex Police will be cracking down on burglary this autumn as part of a campaign to tackle the crime in the county.

They'll be carrying out targeted patrols in areas which have experienced burglaries, as well as visiting home owners to offer advice on how to protect their properties.

Advertisement

Man due in court after Essex shooting

Francis O'Donoghue
Francis O'Donoghue Credit: Essex Police

A man is due in court today charged with the attempted murder of two men at a travellers' site in Essex.

Police had been looking for 27-year-old Francis O'Donoghue since August, after two men were shot in Navestock near Brentwood. Both men needed surgery for their injuries.

O'Donoghue was finally arrested on Friday night. He is due to appear before magistrates in Southend in Essex this morning.

Essex Police Chief vows to get tough on 'sickies'

by Luke Farrington

The Chief Constable of Essex Police has warned his officers that taking days off sick, because they're hungover, will not be tolerated.

Stephen Kavanagh said he was alarmed that some officers were having, on average, 12 days off sick a year. The Chief Constable is now vowing to get tough on those abusing the system.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Luke Farrington

Essex chief alarmed at high sickness rates

The Chief Constable of Essex Police has criticised sickness rates within the force
The Chief Constable of Essex Police has criticised sickness rates within the force Credit: Essex Police

The Chief Constable of Essex Police has criticised sickness rates within the force, saying that some officers are taking time off due to drinking the night before.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, who is 100 days into the job, is alarmed with the fact that officers in the county average 12 sick days a year.

Six arrests in Essex after two men are stabbed

Six people have been arrested after two men were stabbed and a vehicle was damaged in Essex.

Police were called to Fore Field in Braintree just before 1pm today following reports of disorder in the road.

They arrived to find two men had been stabbed and required hospital treatment.

Essex Police said they had arrested six people in total - three men and three women - on suspicion of affray and grievous bodily harm.

Investigations are continuing and parts of the Fore Field area remain cordoned off.

Advertisement

Essex police probe arson attacks on empty homes

Detectives are warning home owners to be on their guard after four arson attacks on properties in south-east Essex in the last month. The attacks in Leigh and Benfleet have all been on empty houses. In two cases items were stolen before the fires were set.

  • August 17 - Manor Road, Benfleet. TV stolen - house set on fire
  • August 21 - Eaton Road, Leigh. House burnt out.
  • August 12-24 - London Road, Benfleet. Items stolen, hallway set on fire.
  • September 21 - Darlinghurst Grove, Leigh. House set on fire at 5am.

At this stage there isn’t anything to suggest the incidents are connected but these fires are concerning us. They are taking place when the owners of the properties are away from their homes and any evidence is being destroyed by the fires. The fire today has caused extensive damage. If anyone has any information please do get in touch. We want to stop this from happening as it is having a devastating effect on people’s homes.”

– Det Sgt Ian Howitt, Southend CID

Anybody with any information is asked to call Southend CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police officer charged with sex assaults

A police officer based in Clacton has been charged with a number of sexual assaults on two women. Pc Neil Culham was arrested in February 2013 after Essex police launched an investigation. The women claimed they had been touched in an inappropriate manner.

The 40-year-old Essex officer, who is currently suspended from duty, was charged on Friday, August 16 with seven counts of sexual touching and one count of perverting the course of justice. He was released on police bail prior to his appearance at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday, September 2.

Essex Police wish to reassure members of the public that these matters are treated very seriously. Essex Police would like to encourage anyone with further information regarding this case, or concerns of a similar nature, to come forward. All such matters will be dealt with in strictest confidence by our Professional Standards Department.

– Essex Police
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories