STATISTICIANS claim crime is on the wane, but it probably does not feel that way to residents of Canvey right now.

The island has been hit by a spate of burglary and vandalism.

The two may or may not be linked.

Whatever the facts behind these crimes, many residents are unsettled, and understandably so.

As for the victims, statistics are little consolation if you yourself or your neighbour happen to be one of those statistics.

Yet unpleasant though this crime wave may be, there are encouraging signs.

Canvey has a strong community sense, and now its residents are linked by social media.

An informal citizens’ watch means close-tabs can be kept on any suspicious behaviour, and information instantly shared with the police.

People are also more prepared to report incidents, such as tyre slashings.

As for the authorities, the crime wave is being taken with such a degree of seriousness local MP Rebecca Harris has become involved.

All of these factors add up to the sort of response that simply would not have taken place ten years ago.

But there is some consolation in the knowledge that crime waves like this stand out, at least in part, because they are becoming more uncommon.