BURGLARS smashed their way into a Co-op store during an early morning raid in Dovercourt.

The crooks smashed a window to get into the Main Road shop.

It is not yet known what was taken during the break-in, which happened at about 2am on Monday.

Harwich councillor Ivan Henderson called for police to take action following the burglary.

He said: “This is yet another really disturbing criminal incident in Harwich, which is always very worrying.

“I’m regularly briefed by police about incidents in the area and at present there does seem to be an increase in the number of serious and minor anti-social behaviour incidents.

“I know first-hand the police are doing a really good job in tackling these crimes and catching those responsible, but it is worrying there does seem to be this increase in Harwich.

“It’s always my concern that when a crime occurs the police are taken away from the area as they transport whoever they have arrested to Clacton police station.

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“It means we lose officers from the streets of Harwich for an extended period of time and leaves the area vulnerable to incidents like this.

“We know nationally there has been an increase in crime, but we need to make sure we have the resources to deal with them and prevent them if possible.”

Harwich and North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin disputed there has been a rise.

“I’m a bit annoyed,” he said. “I feel some councillors are trying to make it look worse than it is.

“Overall crime is down 5.4 per cent in Tendring over the past year, and burglaries down 33.7 per cent.

“We’ve introduced 500 more police officers in Essex since 2018, so as a result they are intercepting more crime.

“There has been a particular focus on tackling drugs and county lines gangs.

“Essex Police also introduced the serious violence unit last year and they are focusing on drugs crime.

“The overall picture is good, crime is falling.”

Essex Police said it is investigating the incident and the enquiries are continuing.

Witnesses should call Harwich police on 101.