Burglary caution probe by Essex Police and Crime Commissioner

Monique Carson returned home to find it had been ransacked

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The issuing of cautions to suspected burglars by police in Essex is to be reviewed.

It follows a burglary in Galleywood, near Chelmsford, in which jewellery and a games console were taken.

The suspected burglar was given a caution - a move which Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said had left him "staggered".

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said he wanted to know how often cautions were used.

"I need to know whether this is an isolated incident or whether this is happening a lot," he said.

"One of the things which is happening now is there is a review.

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston PCC Nick Alston said he needed to know if cautions were commonplace

"I want to know whether there are more cautions happening for burglaries or fewer.

'Most alarmed'

"The indication we've got is that over recent years it has been going down, that's a good thing, but I want to make sure that trend hasn't changed."

Monique Carson, the victim of the burglary, said she was "furious" when she learned the suspected burglar had been given a caution.

She told how other victims of burglary had voiced their support for her.

Mr Barker-McCardle said he had referred three of his officers to the professional standards department.

He said he first became aware of the case when Ms Carson recently spoke to the Essex Chronicle about the break-in, which happened in November.

The chief constable wrote to the chairman of the Essex branch of the Magistrates' Association, saying how "startled" and "most alarmed" he was, and also had case files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

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