I’ve been struck by the number of people I’ve met who are unhappy about the level of policing we get in the community. We are lucky that in this area, we don’t suffer from excessively high levels of crime. However, the fear of crime is rising and if criminals feel we’re a soft target, crime numbers will rise significantly.

That’s why I’m working to increase the policing resources allocated to Saffron Walden and the rest of the constituency – but I need your help.

At some point or another we have most likely all witnessed or been victim to some instance of minor crime which we haven’t reported for fear of wasting police time. Several constituents have told me that even when subjected to significant crimes they don’t bother to report it – they don’t believe the police will have the resources to be able to help.

But the police numbers allocated to us are calculated based on the number of crimes reported. This means that by not reporting crime we are making it more likely that police resources will dwindle even further – and so the vicious cycle continues. The answer? Report every incident, no matter how minor. It is easier than ever to report criminal activity. Giving the police an accurate picture of crime in our area means they allocate resources better.

I’ve had several meetings with farmers whose property has been damaged or stolen, often on a large scale, but they didn’t report it because they thought the police would be unlikely to respond quickly enough. Rural policing needs more funding and, ideally, dedicated teams of officers who deal solely with rural incidents, but this won’t happen if the number of rural crimes is perceived to be minimal.

Building these numbers provides the momentum we need, if Essex Police are to push for greater funding.

So, if you witness or fall victim to any instance of crime please let the police know by calling 999 in an emergency, 101 for non-emergencies or 01245 491491 to contact Essex Police directly. You can also report online at www.essex.police.uk and www.crimestoppers-uk.org