Today’s national crime statistics show Essex continues to be a safe place to live, work and study, Essex Police have said.

Recorded crime across the county is lower than the average across England and Wales with 86.4 offences reported per 1,000 people compared to the national average of 88.9.

Fewer people are victims of violence with injury offences, sexual offences, robbery, and theft in Essex than the national average while burglary offences have fallen with more than 795 fewer break-ins across the county in the 12 months to March.

Crime is increasing across the country, and the figures show Essex is no different which is why Essex Police say they are investing to help better support victims, protect the vulnerable, tackle violence, and increase visibility.

Essex Police recruited an extra 150 officers last year and will be adding an extra 215 this year.

The force has already increased the number of officers in our community and local policing teams and next week they will launch their new Town Centre Teams which will see 68 officers serving a range of communities in 23 locations.

They’ll deal with issues on your doorstep, tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and drug supply while being visible in local towns.

Essex Police are also going to be increasing the size of their Gypsy Traveller and Rural Engagement Team (GTRET) to better serve Essex rural communities and they are investing in specialist units to help investigate business crime, roads policing, fraud, and domestic and sexual offences.

The force has said they will also continue to work to tackle violent and drug-related crime.

There has been a rise in the number of possession of weapons and drugs offences recorded in Essex and each of those offences represents positive, proactive police work.

Officers are using stop-and-search while Operation Sceptre is seeing knives seized and taken off the county's streets.

Operation Raptor teams are also proving prolific in disrupting drug gangs and putting drug dealers behind bars.

The force has secured more than £1.5m of additional funding from the Home Office which will be used to increase their activities to help prevent and tackle street violence and knife crime.

This is added to the combined £1.1 million they’ve received from the Government and Essex County Council to establish a Violence and Vulnerability Unit.

This unit will see officers from Essex Police, the Youth Offending Service and other agencies coming together to undertake joint operations, interventions, and ensuring relevant data and intelligence is shared.