Kemi Badenoch: I want my constituents to be assured that we are doing all we can to protect our community
PUBLISHED: 08:03 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 27 September 2018
To have any kind of crime happen on your doorstep, or to neighbours and friends, is heart-breaking.
I know because it happened to me and it is one of the many reasons why I came into politics. I have always had a particular loathing for bullies and criminals who hurt others with impunity, thinking they can get away with it. It’s quite clear that is what is happening with these ram raids in our community and across the country.
For it to happen when so much work is being done by various stakeholders to prevent such a thing from happening is a big blow. This is how I felt when my home village of Newport was attacked this week by ram-raiders.
I have been working tirelessly, along with police and other members of the community, to tackle the blight of these criminals who have been targeting our local businesses and have commended them on some positive results achieved.
So to wake-up to the news that the Nisa, a key local amenity for our village was attacked, in such a violent way is upsetting to say the least.
Not only has our village lost a local shop, but the worst affected victims are the owner and his staff who have lost their livelihood and the resident above the shop who has lost her home. I commend the police on their swift reaction time to this incident. However, what I want to see is people being brought to book for these crimes. I know that this is also a priority for Essex Police and I would like to see more positive communication from them about the progress they are making.
The people behind this crime are organised and professional criminals. They target rural communities not just here, but nationwide. That’s why the policing response to these incidents has included not only local police but regional and national organised crime teams.
I have always emphasised how policing and crime were my number one priority.
I’ve been in contact with Chief Inspector Janette Rawlingson who has informed me that that they are working hard to identify those responsible and that the police will be conducting high-visibility patrols to provide reassurance to the community.
I will be writing to both the policing minister and the home secretary to discuss what further action needs to be done. No other village or town – whether here or elsewhere in the country – should have to deal with local businesses being attacked in this way.
I am now in the process of organising a public meeting with senior Essex Police officers to allow the public a chance to speak to them.
Finally, I will be doing everything I can to ensure the resident above the shop who lost her home finds alternative accommodation and help Alan Carr, the shop owner, get back up and running as quickly as possible.
They are the victims of this horrendous crime and need as much support as possible.
If you have witnessed any suspicious activity, please make a report to the police on 101 or confidentially to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. I will be pressing for a positive outcome and further news on arrests and ideally convictions.
I want my constituents to be assured that we are doing all we can to protect our community.