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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.

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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

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Six due in court over fraud allegations

Detectives have charged seven people over allegations they conned elderly people in Essex out of around £1 million.

Essex Police said there were around 40 victims aged between 65 and 99.

Sixteen people were arrested in Colchester, Clacton and Epping yesterday.

Seven have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 2009 and 2013. The charges relate to work carried out on victims' homes at inflated prices.

Six men will appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court later today. A woman has been bailed to appear in court on July 16.

The remaining nine people have been released on bail until next Wednesday.

Age UK 'saddened' to hear of scam on elderly

AgeUK has spoken out after police made 16 arrests in connection with a scam that preyed on elderly people in the Colchester and Clacton areas.It said it was saddened to hear of what would have been a devastating experience for older people and urged others to seek help.

Along with similar agencies serving older people, there is ready advice available from AgeUK. Any person who is unsure about their welfare rights, who is needing to access a service or simply seeking advice is strongly urged to make use of the completely reliable and confidential services offered by the recognised volunteer agencies.

– Robert Needham, Chair of AgeUK Colchester
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