Violent crime has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2013.

The latest Essex police statistics show Halstead has experienced an increase in overall crime of just under 8%, with significant increases in the most serious categories.

Councillor Malcolm Fincken said: “I think the increase in violent crime is particularly worrying."

Mr Fincken said he would like to see a new approach to streetlighting.

“Streetlights being switched off has certainly increased the fear of crime, it is not a good thing if people feel more fearful."

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