Live updates

Police warned against taking sickdays for hangovers

The Chief Constable of Essex police, Stephen Kavanagh, has warned his force against taking sick leave for hangovers Credit: James Moy/James Moy Photography/Press Association Images

The Chief Constable of Essex police, Stephen Kavanagh, has warned a "small group" of his officers against taking time off sick to recover from hangovers.

He criticised the force's overall sickness record, saying officers take an average of 12 sick days a year compared to only seven among nurses at Broomfield Hospital in Colchester.

Kavanagh said some officers were "abusing the sickness management process", adding: "Every time they throw a sickie they are letting their mates down, they are letting their community down."

"if you look at the overall numbers compared to other forces, there is also a group - a small group but a group nonetheless - that are abusing the sickness management process," he said.

"If they can't get the time off, they take it sick. If they have a heavy night, on occasions they are taking days off."


Eight seriously hurt as police car collides with vehicles

Three children and five adults have been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a collision involving a marked police car and two other vehicles in Essex.

A woman in her 70s had to be freed by the fire service after her Fiat ended up on a verge, while a BMW carrying a man, woman and three boys aged five, seven and 11, was also hit.

The crash, which the serious collision investigation unit will examine, occurred on the A127 shortly before 4pm as the two-man police car was responding to an emergency with its siren and lights.

Police probe after claims Tulisa punched blogger

Police are making enquiries after a blogger accused former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos of punching him and hurling drunken abuse at V Festival in the early hours of Sunday.

Vas Morgan claims the star charged towards him in a "drunken and angry state" and that she punched him in the eye before "hurling abusive threats".

Tulisa Contostavlos Credit: Suzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Contostavlos' representative said: "Tulisa strongly denies assaulting Mr Morgan - she specifically denies punching Mr Morgan."

Essex Police have confirmed that they received an allegation of assault "alleged to have occurred at around midnight on Saturday at the V Festival".

"We are making further enquiries," a spokeswoman said.

Police end hunt after missing kittens found in bedroom

Police have ended their hunt for three newborn kittens believed to have been stolen from a house in Essex - after they were found hiding in a bedroom.

Essex Police launched a search for the cat burglars after the kittens were reported missing from a family home in The Chase, Barnston, this morning.

The three newborn kittens have been found hiding in a bedroom at the property. Credit: Essex Police/PA Wire

Detectives originally said it appeared only the kittens had been taken in the burglary and that it was "vital" they were reunited with their mother.

A police spokesman said in a new statement, "Members of the family discovered the three kittens behind a bedroom unit".

Family of domestic murder victim calls for public inquiry

Maria Stubbings, of Chelmsford in Essex, was strangled with a dog lead in 2008 by Marc Chivers, who had already killed a previous girlfriend.

Her brother Manuel Fernandez has told ITV Daybreak that the family have been calling for a public inquiry.

He said: "This highlights issues around domestic violence with one police force but it's actually a national problem."


HMIC: More action need to tackle domestic violence

Domestic abuse is a very serious crime, as the tragic cases of Maria Stubbings, Christine Chambers, her two-year-old daughter Shania and Jeanette Goodwin demonstrate. And it's absolutely vital the police get the handling of these cases right for victims.

Essex Police should be recognised for taking the positive step of asking for this issue to be reviewed, and the force has taken a number of important steps to address how domestic abuse cases are handled.

However, there is still more work to do to ensure that victims get the best possible service from their force.

– Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary

Essex Police 'committed on tackling domestic violence'

This report recognises the substantial steps that have been taken to make sure suspects are arrested at the earliest opportunity, that calls are dealt with quickly and that intelligence is developed to identify those at greatest risk.

But I also recognise that it highlights several areas where we need to streamline our processes, improve communication, and provide a better service to victims.

There has been some really positive work done so far and I have already acknowledged that there is still much work to be done.

We are very conscious that we must get our response right every single time.

We are committed to helping victims of domestic abuse and we would urge anyone suffering at the hands of a violent offender to contact us immediately.

– Essex Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh

Essex Police domestic abuse failings

Repeated failures in Essex Police's handling of reports of abuse were highlighted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following the cases of:

  • Maria Stubbings, a 50-year-old mother of two from Chelmsford, was strangled with a dog lead in 2008 by Chivers who also killed a previous girlfriend.
  • The IPCC found there was no assessment of the risk Chivers posed to Ms Stubbings and as a result she was not afforded proper protection.
  • Christine Chambers, 38, from Braintree, who was shot dead in 2011, along with her daughter Shania, by her ex-partner David Oakes.
  • Ms Chambers had been complaining about violence from Oakes for two years before the murders. The IPCC found the force's response was "inadequate".
  • Jeanette Goodwin, 47, was stabbed 30 times by Martin Bunch, 44, in 2011, in front of her husband at her home in Southend, Essex.
  • The IPCC found she received an "inadequate response" from Essex Police on the day of her murder, adding that the force did not recognise the need for urgent action.
Load more updates