THERE have been some disturbing incidents in South Ockendon this week.

A man was arrested outside Shaw Primary Academy for possession of a knife and criminal damage. Parents told the Gazette how the man was attempting to damage the bus’s tyres as children were preparing to go on a school trip.

Then, less than 24 hours later, a dog walker in his 60s was shot at with a crossbow in Dilkes Park. Fortunately, he only received minor injuries.

From our point of view, we were unable to gain specific information on both these serious incidents from Essex Police’s press team.

Up to deadline our reporter tried to get further information, but it wasn’t made available.

What caused the most concern was the press office’s insistence the crossbow attack was an “isolated” incident so there was no need for people living around the park to be concerned. Let me be clear, we would never be alarmist at the Gazette. This may well be an isolated incident, but with no arrest, and a subsequent fruitless search for the thug with the crossbow how can anyone be sure it won’t happen again? Our reporter pressed the police on this point, but no further comment was made available.

We have always worked closely with police, and will continue to do so, but with genuine concern following an incident such as this, it’s important we inform the public as best we can. If there is no ‘wider risk’ then great, but we have to be able to say why.