A SLEEPY village has been rocked after a woman was found dead at a residential home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Cllr Roy Whitehead says the incident is the first of its kind he has known in his 40 years living in Ramsden Heath.

Essex Police has launched a murder probe after a woman in her 40s was found dead at an address in Downham Road just after midnight on Monday, October 11.

Police say the victim’s death is currently being treated as “unexplained” while a 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and was being held in custody yesterday.

“It’s absolutely shocking. We’re an area that is luckily a low crime area,” Cllr Whitehead, who represents South Hanningfield Stock and Margaretting ward, said.

“Ramsden Heath is a quiet place really. We do not normally experience incidents of this type, so I think it will concern the local residents.”

The village, three miles northeast of Billericay, has a population of just 2,000 people and major crimes are almost unheard of in the area.

“We haven’t had incidents like this here before, but that isn’t to say that we shouldn’t do more to protect women,” continued Cllr Whitehead.

“Clearly public awareness of violence against women has been raised enormously in the last few weeks, and it’s important it should be.

“As a parish council we are spending money every month on a private security company to patrol the village and allay resident’s crime fears as the police are not particularly active here.”

Essex Police has said it is not looking to make any further arrests in relation to the investigation at this moment.

If you have any information you can submit a report online at www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm. Quote incident 2 of 11 October.

You can also call Essex Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.