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Woman robbed of mobile phone

1.30pm - 30th January 2015

A WOMAN was robbed of her mobile phone when she as punched in the head. 
Police are appealing for information about the incident which happened near Paringdon Road, on the Millwards estate, at about 7.15pm on Wednesday (January 28). 
Police say a woman was approached from behind and punched to the back of her head by a suspect who then stole her mobile phone. 
Officers want to speak to anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time of the robbery and also want to speak to anyone who saw two men in the area. 
One was white, skinny, about 5ft 10ins tall, with dark hair and a narrow face. He was wearing jogging bottoms. 
The other man was slim, about 5ft 8ins tall with and dark hair. 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Moira Kennedy at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Business raises money for charity

4.47pm - 28th January 2015

HASTINGWOOD-based charity Accuro has received £1,500 from Harlow-based business Morplan, a prominent supplier to the retail industry. 
Morplan chose Accuro as its charity for 2014 following nominations from several members of staff including Kim Hammond whose grandson uses the Accuro Holiday Scheme. 
The link continues as Accuro administrator Jan Schooling, who received the cheque from Morplan managing director Bill Edwards, joined Morplan 30 years ago - around the time Accuro was first conceived. 
When she later decided on a career change she joined Accuro's admin team but continued to work with Morplan as a freelance proof-reader. 
This link has blossomed over the last year to the benefit of both organisations and the wider local community. 
Throughout last year Morplan donated a huge amount of craft and packaging materials to Accuro which were used at many of its youth groups and charity stalls. However the company's generosity did not stop there. 
Morplan staff worked tirelessly throughout the year holding fundraising cake sales, dress down days and raffles. 
They also decided to make a charity donation rather than send Christmas cards. The result of this dedication was that £1,500 was raised. 
When Jan was asked to collect the cheque she had no idea of the total raised by her ex-colleagues. 
She thanked the team for their phenomenal efforts and explained various ways in which the money will be used to support the 300-plus families who access the Accuro services. 
Accuro provides a broad range of support and activities for children, young people and adults with a disability and their families in west Essex. 
Services include parenting support, holiday schemes, youth groups and a Saturday Club, together with adult friendship schemes and a community gardening project. 
For more details about Accuro's projects, volunteering opportunities and fundraising events visit www.accuro.org.uk, email enquiries@accuro.org.uk or ring 01279 433117.

Some police stations could be sold

9.03am - 26th January 2015

A NUMBER of police stations across Essex could be sold, Essex Police has said.
A police report reveals a backlog of maintenance work across the force's property portfolio of some 80 properties, totals an estimated £30m, with an additional £1.75m per year needed to maintain and keep the estate in its current condition. 
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston said: "Many of the current buildings are old, in need of extensive and expensive maintenance and no longer fit for the demands and purposes of modern policing." 
He describes the £30m figure as "no small total" adding: "particularly with the financial challenges already facing Essex Police, as central government funding continues to reduce". 
He added: "In light of that, these ongoing costs cannot be justified and it is necessary for the Chief Constable and me to make some tough decisions on the future of police buildings, including stations. 
"A review of the options available to us is nearing completion but no final decisions have yet been made.
"The sale of some police stations, the reduction of the size of the Chelmsford-based force Headquarters, and the possible creation of centralised policing hubs in each local authority area are all being considered." 
Mr Alston added: "What will be key to any decisions taken is that our police are best placed and best equipped to deliver quality and accessible policing to the communities they serve."

'Green' business welcomes MP

9.48am - 24th January 2015

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon visited Matching Tye-based family-run joinery specialist Chordal Green. 
CG is a young company with an established reputation for fitting luxury residential and commercial interiors across the UK and abroad. 
Mr Halfon said: "Family businesses are the best sort. I am impressed this is such a family-orientated company. Good businesses don't just rely on their ability to manufacture, but on their personal relationships." 
The firm's successes include being awarded a project to refurbish Ronnie Scott's home and to be commissioned to design and make joinery for a large, modern house in Geneva. 
Chordal Green was started seven years ago. 
Managing director Mark Rutty, who owns and runs the business, has a passion for making bespoke-made furniture. 
From penthouse apartments in Mayfair to sawing a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow in half for a Soho bar - Mark loves high risk, quirky challenges. 
Mr Halfon discussed various issues including road infrastructure, apprenticeships, financial and practical support for small businesses, payment delays and how it feels to work and live close to Harlow. 
The company relies on local suppliers and staff and actively supports apprenticeships. 
Mr Rutty said: "We really appreciate this visit from our MP who expressed an interest in us after talking to colleagues at a networking event for local companies last year.
"Robert Halfon is a huge asset to Harlow and he is obviously sincere in his support of the town and the people who live and work here. 
"Robert demonstrated in-depth knowledge of local issues affecting us. He has a great sense of humour too, he was sporting a fetching green suit and tie in honour of the 'Green' half of our company name which none of us spotted until he was about to leave. We were very impressed with him."

Running club boosts charity

5.03pm - 23rd January 2015

ACCURO (Care Services) has received £600 from Harlow Running Club having been chosen as the club's charity of the year. 
The money, which was raised at the annual Harlow 10 race, was presented to Accuro's Shared Care co-ordinator Michelle Jephcott. 
Michelle said: "During the year the club has not only provided us with this financial donation but assisted greatly with a fun run we held in the summer, as well as providing us with the opportunity to raise awareness of our work and services. 
"We would also like to express our thanks to the club Committee and members for voting for Accuro to benefit from being one of their nominated charities for 2015. 
"Every donation makes a huge difference to the services we can provide to children, young people and adults with a disability, and their families, in the Harlow area in these very difficult times." 
Accuro is a local charity that has been providing services for children and adults with a disability, and their families, in Harlow since 1984 and which is now actively seeking to strengthen its links with the local community. 
Accuro welcomes interest from any club, organisation, business or individuals who would like to support the valuable work the charity undertakes. 
Accuro is particularly keen to develop additional community partnerships that would be of mutual benefit. For more information about Accuro, its services and how to become involved visit the charity's new-look website www.accuro.org.uk or contact Michelle by emailing michelle@accuro.org.uk or ringing 01279 433667.

Council reveals budget and streetlight plans

5.01pm - 23rd January 2015

HARLOW'S street lights are set to be switched back on after Harlow Council outlined proposals to raise council tax by 1.5 per cent, an increase to the average Harlow household of 7p a week. 
The proposed rise will generate £100,000 which the council plans to pay to Essex County Council to ensure the town's lights are switched back on between midnight and 5am, seven days a week. 
Plans for the increase on Harlow Council's share of council tax bills for 2015-16 will be recommended to cabinet on January 29 and council on February 5. 
Spending on services such as parks, playgrounds and grass cutting, tackling anti-social behaviour, regeneration and economic development, pavement and road repairs (maintained by Harlow Council), street cleaning and waste and recycling collections has been protected following the council's public budget consultation last summer. 
Significant investment to help the regeneration of Harlow is proposed, the council said. 
There are also no proposals to close or cut services, which would directly impact on residents or businesses. 
Among the budget proposals are funding for the next three years for The Playhouse, Paddling Pools and Pets' Corner, the former council-run Harlow Museum and Gibberd Gallery. 
For the second successive year neighbourhood shopping car park fees will be frozen with the continuation of free parking for one hour. 
The budget will also see no increases in the basic councillor allowances which will stay at the same level as since 2011 with allowances paid to the leader and portfolio holders cut by five per cent. 
Council leader Jon Clempner said: "We have worked hard to propose a budget which addresses residents' priorities and protects services from both closure or cuts. 
"Last summer we carried out an extensive public consultation and we were determined to make sure we listened and responded to what the community told us. 
"Spending on key priority areas for residents like parks, playgrounds, open spaces, tackling anti-social behaviour and street cleaning have been protected and we are investing in the regeneration of Harlow which is another priority for the community. 
"This year's council tax increase will be used to address a major concern for the community which is constantly raised by residents and that is turning Essex County Council street lights back on."

Police appeal over cyclepath robbery

8.53am - 22nd January 2015

POLICE are appealing for information about a robbery on a cycle path near The Stow, Harlow. 
The incident happened at about 5pm on Saturday (January 17) when the victim was approached and spoken to by a man. 
After the victim declined to hand over any of his possessions he was hit on the head from behind by a second suspect and then punched in the face by the first. 
The victim's mobile phone, wallet, cash and keys were stolen. 
One of the suspects was a white man, aged in his mid to late 20s with short dark brown hair. 
He was about 5ft 10ins tall of medium build and wearing a grey zip-up hoodie top and jeans.
Investigating officer DC Jo Lanz said: "I am especially keen to trace a group of around three to five men who were walking along the cycle path at the time as they may have witnessed this robbery." 
Anyone with any information should ring Dc Lanz at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Community stalwarts recognised

8.25am - 21st January 2015

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband joined Harlow parliamentary candidate Suzy Stride to honour two community stalwarts at Westminster. 
Town chaplain Robert Finlay, founder of Heart for Harlow, and Harlow Foodbank founder Gary Knott were recognised for their contributions to the town. 
They were praised by Mr Miliband and also met Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP and retiring veteran MP Glenda Jackson. 
Miss Stride said: "It is people like Robert and Gary and many others across Harlow who are doing the hard work, day in day out of changing our community for the better, offering life lines for people and transforming people’s lives. 
"It is these people by their small acts that are brining change not just to Harlow but across the whole country and it was right that Ed Miliband praised them for their contribution as local heroes" 
Mr Knott said: "It was very special to be taken to Westminster by Suzy to meet Ed Miliband and to celebrate the work of Harlow foodbank. 
It was a really special moment to be thanked for all the work we are doing. I think it is really important that the work of charities and individuals across Harlow is recognised."

Health bosses holding public meetings

4.26pm - 20th January 2015

A SERIES of public meetings are being held by West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group as health bosses give an update on their five-year plan. 
My Health, My Future, My Say part two follows the large-scale public engagement programme - My Health, My Future, My Say - held across west Essex at the end of 2013. 
The information gathered informed the CCG's 'Five Year Strategic Plan for West Essex Health and Care System 2015-2020' which will be presented at the follow-up events next month. 
CCG chairman Dr Rob Gerlis said: "It's not only important for us to listen to our local communities, we also need to act on what we're hearing.
"This is our chance to show local people that the things they told us during part one of My Health, My Future, My Say have been taken into account, have informed our decision-making over the last year and will continue to inform the way we commission services in the future.
"We want people to feel confident that they can influence the services that will affect them, their friends and family, now, and in the years to come, as well as challenge us when they feel services aren't meeting their needs." 
Chief officer Clare Morris said: "One of the areas we've been working hard on is the joining up of health and social care services in west Essex and, whilst progress still needs to be made the CCG has taken great strides towards achieving an integrated health and care system in the area and will continue to work closely with local partner organisations to realise this fully in the future.
'Naturally the engagement process doesn't stop here; we're constantly seeking local people's perspectives on health services in west Essex. 
"The NHS belongs to the people and so everything we do must reflect local people's needs." 
A panel of senior health and social care representatives from West Essex CCG and partner organisations, including Essex County Council and Princess Alexandra Hospital, will be present at each event and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about what their local NHS are working on and where they might affect change. 
Anyone would like to feedback to the CCG on local health services but cannot attend one of these public events can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01992 566122 or 561223 or email weccg.comments@nhs.net
The local meetings (7pm-9pm) are at Harlow Leisurezone (February 2), Waltham Abbey Town Hall (February 9) and Epping Hall, Epping (February 26).

Hospice holding Winter Walkies

12.58pm - 19th January 2015

ST Clare Hospice is holding its annual Winter Walkies on Sunday, February 22. 
Dozens of dogs will turn out to support the charity and take part in the sponsored 5km countryside walk.
Almost 90 canines are already registered for the fundraising event which sets off at 11am. 
There will be doggy-friendly fun and games for all the family, including competitions for dogs and owners as well as a children's quiz. 
Free soup and a roll for all walkers will also be available along with other hot refreshments on sale.
Registration costs £10 for adults (£5 for children; £27.50 for two adults and two children). 
For more information, ring 01279 773750, email fund@stclarehospice.org.uk or visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk

Abseil registration opens soon

12.26pm - 19th January 2015

ADVENTUROUS fundraisers will soon be able to register for the Church Langley water tower abseil organised by the Rotary Club of Harlow Tye.
This year is the 18th year of the event which has raised £755,000 for various charities. 
The abseil will take place on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3. 
For more details visit www.harlowtyerotary.org.uk, email abseil@harlowtyerotary.org.uk or ring 01279 734211 or 01279 731312. Last year's event raised £54,000. 
Registration costs £30 with all sponsorship money raises by participants going to their chosen cause.
Abseilers must be aged 16 years old and over. 
Registration opens on February 1.

Cabinet members tour enterprise zone

4.28pm - 16th January 2015

ESSEX County Council's cabinet met in Harlow so members could learn more about the developments at Harlow Enterprise Zone. 
The meeting took place in the former Nortel plant which is set to become a 21st century business park and data centre, Kao Park, named after Sir Charles Kao who invented fibre optic cable on the site.
Economic growth and infrastructure cabinet member Kevin Bentley said: "Harlow Enterprise Zone is a big boost not only to Harlow but to the whole of Essex. 
"There is potential for 5,000 new jobs which will have a huge knock-on effect on the economic wealth of Harlow and the surrounding area. 
"The transformation of Harlow is about more than jobs - it's about increasing education and skills opportunities in schools, it's about highways, it's about bringing more people to the town. 
"Holding our meeting in Harlow was a good opportunity for all cabinet members to understand the scale of what is starting to happen in Harlow and how it will affect their work." 
After a welcome from Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner, Harlow Enterprise Zone project director Andrew Bramidge gave an update on progress so far. 
David Bloom, chief executive of Goldacre Ventures, which owns the London Road site, took councillors on a tour. 
The 35-acre site is due to become a premium data centre campus with 200,000sq.ft of grade A office space. 
The Kao Park development will occupy the southern sector of the London Road Enterprise Zone with a further 35-acre northern sector being developed by Harlow Council for MedTech, Life Science and ICT design and build opportunities. 
Anglia Ruskin University is set to create a MedTech campus on the site. 
Harlow firm Pryor has been contracted to start the transformation with demolition, setting up utilities supplies and new road access. 
A second site in Harlow, Templefields, is being re-developed into a smaller manufacturing business park. The Enterprise Zone offers companies business rate relief for up to five years up to £55,000, simplified planning and superfast broadband.

Car prize in hospice raffle

4.42pm - 12th January 2015

A NEW car is the first prize in St Clare Hospice's spring raffle. 
The Hastingwood-based hospice, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has teamed up with Harlow-based Insight Private Finance to give away a silver Suzuki Alto, worth £7,500, as well as 24 other prizes. 
Second prize is £1,000 cash, third prize is a 40in TV, fourth prize is a £250 shopping voucher, fifth prize is a 10ins tablet while 20 £25 gift vouchers are also up for grabs. 
The charity hopes to raise £40,000 from the raffle. 
St Clare lottery manager Caron Lakey said: "St Clare's passion and purpose is to be there for those facing the difficult journey of living with a life-limiting illness and your support enables us to provide our specialist care here at the hospice and in people's homes. This time is precious and your help means so much to those families."
The 25 lucky winners will be picked by a special guest at the Harvey Centre, Harlow on March 31 (2pm).
Raffle tickets, priced £2 each, are on sale until March 23 from all eight of the St Clare Hospice shops as well as the hospice reception and other outlets.

Street lights petition presented

4.40pm - 12th January 2015

A 1,500-NAME petition calling for Harlow's street lights to be switched back on has been collected by Labour parliamentary candidate Suzy Stride. 
The petition has been presented to Essex County Council and Harlow District Council.
Lobbying from figures such as Miss Stride has led the national Labour party to advocate local authorities switching to low energy LED lighting rather than plunging areas into darkness. 
Miss Stride said: "It is six months since I started my campaign to get the street lights turned back on in Harlow. 
"During this time Essex County Council has twice refused to re-consider its decision so today not only am I handing my petition into Essex County Council, I am also handing it to the leader of Harlow Council (Jon Clempner)." 
She added: "Across Harlow people are calling for their lights to be switched back on and for peace of mind to be restored. This switch off has cost money in the short term and won't even break even for a number of years. 
"Street lights in Harlow should be turned back on as a matter of urgency and I urge the relevant authorities to act." 
Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner said: "While it is clearly Essex County Council that is responsible for turning off Street Lights in Harlow, this petition, along with many conversations with residents and the budget consultation that Harlow Council conducted last year, demonstrates the strength of feeling of local people.
"I will continue to explore what can be done to address these concerns."

Burglars threaten man with knife

1.50pm - 12th January 2015

POLICE are investigating an incident in Harlow where a house was burgled and a man was threatened with a knife. 
Officers were called to a property in Ladyshot at 1pm on Saturday following reports from a man that his parents' home opposite had just been burgled. 
He had seen two men pull up outside the property in a white 4x4 vehicle. One forced their way inside the house and the other waited outside. 
The man, who is in his 40s, went to challenge the men and one threatened him with a knife. 
The man's parents were not at home. Various items of jewellery were stolen. 
The suspects are described as white men. One had dark brown receding hair with a goatee- style beard, olive skin and a chubby face. The other was wearing a jacket. 
Investigating Officer PC Leo Fordham, of Harlow CID, said: "A white 4x4 vehicle, possibly an Audi, was seen in the area at the time and in the days before the incident. I would especially like to speak to anyone who may have seen this vehicle." 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Leo Fordham at Harlow Police Station on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Health Secretary accepts hospital invitation

10.28am - 8th January 2015

HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt has accepted an invitation from MP Robert Halfon to visit Princess Alexandra Hospital following an increase in patient numbers visiting its Accident and Emergency department. 
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday), Mr Halfon urged the Government to look at what more could be done to ease the pressure on A&E which has been struggling under pressure due to a surge in visits. 
Figures show Princess Alexandra Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in the country, with significantly more patients per bed than much bigger hospitals, for example Barts Hospital in London. 
In addition, the number of ambulances taking patients to the Harlow hospital's accident and emergency department has increased hugely. 
Two years ago an average of 45 ambulances a day transported patients to the hospital. 
Now it is an average of 75. 
Over Christmas this peaked at more than 90 ambulances every day with one in five arriving from outside the area. 
During the debate Mr Halfon said: "Will my Hon. Friend first thank the passionate commitment of the staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital. 
"Whilst the Government have invested £5m into our A&E services, due to issues elsewhere in other nearby hospitals, the pressure on our A&E has been immense. 
"Princess Alexandra is one of the busiest by far in terms of attends per bed and one in five ambulances arriving are from other areas. 
"The PAH is now admitting four more patients per day than they were this time last year. Will my Hon. Friend meet with me, the chief executive of PAH and visit the Hospital to see what can be done?" 
Mr Hunt responded by agreeing to visit the hospital.
He said: "Well I'm very happy to do that and I am aware of the very significant pressures at Princess Alexandra. I would like to thank him for the way he is supporting staff at his local hospital, getting behind local plans."

Pets' Corner to close for refurbishment

4.41pm - 7th January 2015

PETS' Corner is to close temporarily next month while it undergoes major refurbishment work as part of a town park-wide improvement programme. 
The refurbishment is part of a £2.8m investment to regenerate and renovate Harlow Town Park. 
More than £1.8m has been secured by Harlow Council in lottery funding to pay for improvements at Pets' Corner and across the Town Park. 
A new events barn and Learning Centre will be built at Pets' Corner to provide an enhanced education programme along with better visitor access and improved facilities for animals. 
Pets' Corner will close to the public in early February for about three months. 
The plan is for Pets' Corner to reopen in the middle of the spring period. 
Arrangements have been made to ensure all the animals are re-housed or cared for during the building work.
Staff will continue to work during the closure to feed and exercise the animals. 
Although there will be no access to Pets' Corner, the outside paddocks within the showground will still be accessible to visitors where animals such as sheep, cows, llamas, goats, horses, reindeer are given daily exercise time. 
Youth and community portfolio holder Emma Toal said: "This project underlines Harlow Council's commitment to securing the future of Pets' Corner which is a hugely popular facility used by many members of the community. 
"Once reopened we will have a much-improved venue for the public and the animals to enjoy and be proud of." 
Karen Mash, from the Friends of Pets' Corner, said: "We fully support the temporary closure. This really was the only option available as it is the quickest and safest way for the works to be carried out and we believe this plan will work out best for both the welfare of the animals and for the visitors who enjoy coming to Pets' Corner. 
"We are excited about the development and we know that everyone else will share our excitement about the bright future Pets' Corner has." 
Other works planned as part of the Harlow Town Park regeneration programme include the conservation of Spurriers House (including turning the ground floor into a café); improvements and upgrades to the bandstand; the restoration and conservation of the park's water gardens; renewed and new pathways; seating, viewing points and improved signage across the park. 
Work on the regeneration programme begun in December with the start of horticultural improvements and the restoration of various garden and wooded areas across the park.

Family's tribute to "gentle giant"

4.23pm - 7th January 2015

THE family of a man who died following a road collision in Roydon have been paying tribute to the "gentle giant". 
Jonathan Aicken, 24, of Foldcroft, Harlow, was riding a motorbike which was involved in a collision in Tylers Road in the early hours of Christmas Eve. 
A family tribute, issued by Essex Police, said: "Jon was known affectionately among his friends as Panda. He was a gentle giant who lived life to the full. 
"His passions were motorbikes, Viking culture and loud music, attending many live gigs and music festivals both within the UK and across Europe. 
"Jon was a regular at The Square (the Harlow music venue), well known for his bear hugs and caring nature. If he heard that any of the girls in his circle of friends were walking home alone he would go miles out of his way to make sure they got home safely. 
"Jon will be missed by his mum, Anne, brothers, James and Nick, as well as his extended family and large circle of friends. 
"His family are overwhelmed by the messages of support and the generous donations to the fund organised by his friends to cover funeral costs, which has raised £7,500." 
* A 25-year-old woman from Hatfield in Hertfordshire was arrested on Christmas Day on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. 
She has been bailed pending further police enquiries until Monday, January 26.

Efit issued in robbery appeal

3.51pm - 7th January 2015

POLICE want to identify a man depicted in an efit image following a robbery in Berecroft, Harlow, on Boxing Day.
Three men were seen in a wooded area near Peterswood at about 11am.
Police are investigating the robbery of a man in his 50s in nearby Berecroft and want to trace the men in connection with the investigation.
A rucksack containing some prescription medication, a small amount of cash and keys was stolen. 
One of the suspects, the subject of the efit, was white, aged in his early 30s, well built, with bleached blond hair and stubble. He was wearing jeans. 
Another man was also white, aged in his early 20s, of medium build with short dark hair. 
The third was also in his 20s, white with short brown hair and wearing a black leather jacket. 
Anyone with any information should ring PC Moira Kennedy at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

The efit image can be viewed here

Apprentice star to visit college

8.53am - 7th January 2015

A STAR of the BBC One show The Apprentice will be visiting Harlow College on Monday to meet local apprentices and talk to them about their aspirations. 
Felipe Alviar-Baquero, a solicitor for an international law firm, made reached Week Nine with Lord Sugar and in 2012 was named one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world. 
The entrepreneur, who was also chosen to carry the Olympic Torch en route to the London 2012 games, was invited to Harlow by MP Robert Halfon who campaigns on the issue of apprentices. 
Felipe hopes to give a speech on skills, employment and his time on the show, before hosting a question and answer session with students. 
Mr Halfon, who has hired three Harlow College apprentices himself, said: "I met Felipe towards the end of last year and we both have a strong commitment to apprenticeships and providing people with the skills they need to get on in life. 
"We'll also be visiting the new Sir Charles Kao Technical School which has just opened on the Harlow College campus. 
"I'm very grateful to the college for facilitating our visit."

Police reveal anti drink-drive campaign results

5.40pm - 6th January 2015

A TOTAL of 175 drivers were arrested during Essex Police's 2014 Christmas Anti-Drink Drive campaign.
A total of 2,429 drivers were stopped and breathalysed between December 1 and January 1 and 143 were found to be driving over the legal alcohol limit or refused or failed to provide a sample. 
A further 32 were arrested in connection with drug driving legislation. 
During the 2013 campaign 3,409 drivers were breathalysed and 124 were arrested for driving over the limit or refusing or failing to give a sample of breath. 
Casualty reduction manager Adam Pipe said: "It is always frustrating to see that, despite knowing the consequences, some drivers still consider themselves to be above the law by getting behind the wheel having knowingly consumed too much alcohol. 
"This year we breathalysed fewer drivers and arrested more on suspicion of drink driving. Whilst this appears disappointing on first sight it can be explained by a more targeted approach taken during this year's campaign. 
"This year we were able to target our patrols more specifically to areas where intelligence told us people were drink-driving. 
"We were also able to act on information received from members of the public about people who regularly get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol." 
He added: "Our Christmas Anti-Drink Drive Campaign may have come to an end but Essex Police takes a robust approach to drink drivers 365 days a year. Drink driving isn't just about Christmas - it ruins lives all year round. 
"Perpetual drink drivers will choose to drink and drive any day of the year so I want to ask for support from the public 365 days a year to help take them off the roads of Essex. 
"Please help keep the county's roads safe by reporting drink drivers."

Appeal after attempted robbery

5.36pm - 6th January 2015

DETECTIVES are appealing for information after five friends were targeted by two men in Harlow. 
The attempted robbery happened in Paringdon Road between 1am and 1.30am on New Year's Day when the three men and two women were walking along the road and were approached by two men who initially asked for a cigarette. 
They then demanded that the group hand over their mobile phones and turn out their pockets. 
When they refused one of the men produced a long object and struck one of the victims, an 18-year-old man from Chingford, on the head and also caught a second victim, a 17-year-old Harlow man, on the chin. The 18-year-old needed hospital treatment for a head cut. 
The 17-year-old suffered grazes. Both suspects ran off empty-handed. 
The man who carried out the assaults is described as white, bald, about 6ft tall, aged in his 20s to 30s and skinny. He was wearing a beanie hat and had on a padded jacket. 
The second man was white and had on a hooded top. 
Anyone who saw what happened or has any other information should ring Detective Constable Jo Lanz at Harlow Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Man robbed at knifepoint

8.33am - 5th January 2015

THREE men are being sought by police after a man was robbed at knifepoint in Harlow Town Park. 
The incident happened off School Lane at 8pm on Friday, January 2, when a 21-year-old man was approached by three men who punched him in the stomach threatened him with a knife and stole £25 cash and a black Apple iPhone 5. 
The men all had their faces covered. 
The victim said they appeared to be aged in their 20s. One was very tall, another was stocky and the third was thin.
Anyone who saw anyone matching these descriptions in the area at the time or who has any other information that could help police should ring PC Leo Fordham at Harlow Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Jewellery among £4,000 burglary haul

8.02am - 2nd January 2015

JEWELLERY was among items stolen during a burglary at a house in Rideways, Harlow. 
The break-in happened between 7.30am and 3.15pm on Thursday, December 18, when thieves smashed through the patio doors. 
Police say a messy search of the house was made and a number of items were taken including an Apple iPad, a Prada clutch bag, boxed ladies Ugg boots, Tiffany earrings, a yellow gold men's wedding ring, a pair of Gucci sunglasses and a black G Shock watch. 
The total value of the stolen property is estimated at more than £4,000. 
Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area or who has been offered any of the items for sale should ring PC Jo Snell at Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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