ESSEX Police are the best in the country when it comes to addressing the public’s concerns.

The county’s constabulary came out top out of the 43 forces in England and Wales for public satisfaction.

Under the British Crime Survey, which polls groups of residents about their feelings on crime and how police are performing, 59 per cent said they felt Essex officers were doing all they could to tackle issues of local concern, such as graffiti or antisocial behaviour.

The findings, which cover the year from December, 2008, to December, 2009, also showed the number of crimes reported in Essex fell by 6.3 per cent from 114,285 crimes to 107,042.

But the poll, which contains recorded crime figures as well as measuring the public’s perception of crime, found 18 per cent of people thought drug use or dealing was a fairly big problem, while 19 per cent thought boozed-up yobs were a problem.

Andy Bliss, Essex Deputy Chief Constable, welcomed the survey’s findings.

He said: “I am delighted to know people in Essex have great confidence in their police force and their local councils in dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour.

“Our communities’ confidence must partly reflect the fact that Essex is one of the safest places in England and Wales.

“Essex scores consistently well in public confidence ratings, moving from fourth last year to first, equal this year with Surrey, with one of the biggest improvements over the last 18 months.

“I am particularly pleased for all those people in Essex who are not going to become victims of crime, because there is less crime happening here.”