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Police force criticised over handling of domestic abuse

A police force in Essex, which failed four murder victims, has been criticised over their handing of domestic violence cases.

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

Maria Stubbings was murdered by her ex-partner. Credit: PA

The report follows the 2008 killing of Maria Stubbings by her ex-boyfriend Marc Chivers, the 2011 fatal shootings of Christine Chambers and her two-year-old daughter Shania by David Oakes and the murder of Jeanette Goodwin at the hands of her ex eight weeks later.

In the report, HMIC inspectors said the force took steps to improve the way it handles such cases but said further work is needed to ensure the risks to victims are properly managed.

  1. Anglia

Diners leave without paying £520 bill

A CCTV image of the diners who left without paying the bill Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police are appealing for help in tracing four people who ate at an upmarket restaurant then left without paying the £520 bill.

The three men and a woman dined at Milsoms in Dedham, near Colchester, on the evening of February 16.

Police are appealing for help in identifying them.

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Thief steals car with toddler asleep inside

A two-year-old boy slept through a car thief stealing his mother's silver Land Rover Freelander and driving off with him inside.

The toddler was fast asleep when his mother parked the car to deliver a package and left the engine running.

The horrified 32-year-old was at the door of a house handing over the parcel when she looked back and saw the suspect laugh at her, jump in the car and drive off from Kents Hill Road North, Benfleet, Essex, at 2.20pm on Friday.

The car was recovered shortly later in nearby Barncombe Close with the child still asleep.

The suspect fled and was not found despite Essex Police scrambling a search helicopter.

He was described as white, aged in his early 20s, clean shaven, and wore a black top with a light blue hood and dark trousers or tracksuit bottoms.

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