Crime in Braintree reached a year-long low in December, according to the latest police statistics.

During the course of the month, there were 203 crimes reported to Essex Police in the Braintree town area.

The figure, the latest available from the website, compared with 218 in November.

Antisocial behaviour, burglaries and vehicle crime all fell, while drug offences, violent crime and public disorder actually rose.

Although the figure of 203 crimes was the lowest in 2012, it still represented a rise from the same month in 2011 when 177 offences were recorded.

In Witham, figures were better still, with the number of crimes recorded (113) at its lowest since records on the website date back to in December 2010.

Violent crime, vehicle crime, shoplifting, antisocial behaviour and burglaries all dropped compared with November, although there was a sharp rise in criminal damage and arson.