Jackie Doyle-Price has rightfully raised concerns about the so-called Essex cruisers who roar around West Thurrock every Friday and Saturday night. And she is right: it is only a matter of time before someone will get killed.
Thurrock residents have complained about the Essex cruisers and raised concerns about them for years now, but despite this, our voices have not been heard.
Right now Thurrock is experiencing a crime wave. Here in Aveley, local residents have started to make a stand against antisocial behaviour. And this week, Ensign suspended its bus service to the Kenningtons Estate in Aveley because hooligans were throwing stones and firing catapults at buses.
A series of illegal raves have happened over the last few months, causing misery and noise nuisance to local residents in Aveley, Ockendon and Chafford Hundred. These raves were reported to the police but no action was taken due to the lack of police resources.
Since 2010, police numbers have been cut by more than 20,000, and Essex Police numbers have been cut by more than 600. It was recently reported that crime has increased to record levels in England and Wales. In 2015, the police and intelligence services warned Theresa May – who had been Home Secretary since 2010 – that her cuts were putting Britain at risk of crime and terror.
Her response? She accused them of scaremongering. However, this warning became a reality in 2017, as Britain has had four terror attacks – three in London and one in Manchester – and official figures recently released revealed record crime in England and Wales. Gun and knife crime are also on the increase. And despite the crime and terror surge in England and Wales the Tories have not ruled out further cuts to police numbers.
I commend Jackie Doyle-Price for again challenging the Essex cruisers, and I strongly condemn the abuse and death threats she has received online, but she voted for police cuts and must accept that her actions have contributed to the crime wave in Thurrock.
I do, however, get very angry at people who complain about police cuts, the state of the NHS and cuts to local services, yet still continue to vote Conservative and re-elect the very politicians who voted for austerity including cuts to public services.
Voting Conservative is no different than turkeys voting for Christmas.
Theresa May’s magic money tree is never around when we need it most. The only way crime and terrorism can be defeated is by reversing police cuts. If the Tories can afford to bung the DUP £1.5bn just they can remain in power, blow £15.8bn on Universal Credit, £55bn on HS2 and £205bn on Trident then they can afford to recruit more police officers.