Villagers in Ugley hit by vandalism spree
Vandals rampaged through Ugley on Sunday night, damaging homes, cars, businesses and the village hall – but police have been criticised for ignoring residents’ pleas for help.
Despite calls made to Essex Police that three suspects were smashing windows the length of the village and reports of an airgun being fired, no officers were sent to the scene until the following afternoon.
“For so much crime to occur in a single night to a small, sleepy Essex village is unheard of and has left the residents feeling scared and isolated,” said one victim whose home was targeted and did not wish to be named.
“At one end of the village the village hall had eight windows smashed and the violence continued all the way along Pound Lane, Dellows Lane to Fieldgate Lane.
"Garages were broken into and garden ornaments... used as missiles to smash windows.
“Some residents thought in light of what's been happening recently in Stortford, with missiles being fired at vehicles on the A120, that their properties were being fired at using air weapons and calls were put into the police.
“However, despite the amount of time the suspects spent on their crime spree, no police units responded that night and the village feels angry and upset by the lack of response by Essex Police,” the resident added.
“So far, to the best of my knowledge, anywhere between 25 and 30 vehicles and properties were damaged in a single night.”
The resident said virtually every vehicle in Pound Lane had been damaged and villagers had never known anything like it before.
“The whole village was attacked, which is very unusual. It’s not like we're a busy high street with a few pubs where people turning out might cause a few problems, but there’s nothing here.
"There's no reason for it. It was a horrible night weather wise and there just doesn’t seem to be any motive or reason. They just went on the rampage.”
A spokesman for Essex Police said that bricks and other objects had been used to cause the damage and that the force was linking the incidents.
"We received reports that 10 vehicles were damaged in Dellows Lane, Ugley Green, Pound Lane, Cambridge Road, Field Gate Lane and Snakes Lane on Sunday 9 February," he said.
"The majority of the calls were reported the following day by people either waking up to damage or returning home. We also received two reports of suspicious behaviour after people reported finding bricks next to their vehicles.
"We would like to hear from anyone who noticed anything suspicious, has information or has dashcam or doorbell footage."
Anyone with information should call the Uttlesford policing team on 101 or report information by visiting www.essex.police. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.