South Woodham's new police inspector is hoping that his experience in community policing will benefit the town.

Inspector Gary Coxhead has been in the force for 26 years, and has been stationed at various Essex locations, including Chelmsford, Colchester and Grays.

He has worked widely among residents.

"This is coming back to what I have had experience in," said Insp Coxhead.

"I think it is too early to say yet what I will be focusing on.

"It will take a while to see what the particular problems are. I am interested in improving the lot of people in the area and want to try to address some of the things they find hard."

Having reached the rank of inspector 12 months ago, Insp Coxhead, a father of three, sees communication as an important factor. "Getting people to talk to each other is important," he said.

"There is always an issue of polarisation in any community of the needs of one group against another.

"I would like people to at least see the other person's point of view and find some common ground in the middle."

Maureen Moulds, chairman of South Woodham Community Safety Forum, which meets regularly with the police, said that the concerns which most residents related to the forum were about vandalism and property damage.

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