Essex Police has been forced to pay nearly £70,000 for repairs in the past three years as a result of criminal damage to its property.

The force has been the named victim in 500 cases since April 2011, with damaged property including police station doors and mattresses in cells.

There has been a slight increase in incidents across the county - 148 were recorded in 2012, compared to 162 in 2013 and 88 in the first six months of this year.

In May this year, a suspect caused £200 of damage by repeatedly hitting a CCTV camera while in a cell at Colchester police station.

Two out of every five incidents across the county relate to damage caused by people being detained in prison cells.

Full story in today's Gazette