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Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington was joined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel at Thurrock Council’s offices today to sign a book of condolence following the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found at Grays on Wednesday October 23.
They were joined by Roger Hirst, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jackie Doyle-Price, Thurrock MP, Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, and representatives from Essex County Fire & Rescue Service and East of England Ambulance Service, at the civic office in Grays where they also laid flowers in Mulberry Memorial Gardens.
Chief Constable Harrington said: “Last week our county was shaken by this tragic event. Our thoughts continue to be with all those who have lost their lives, and also with their loved ones.
“I would like thank the emergency service workers and anyone who has come together to support this investigation in such difficult and traumatic circumstances.
“Thurrock Council has kindly opened the gardens for those who wish to pay their respects to the people who lost their lives last week.
“As we have said this will be a long and complex investigation. We will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice and would ask for patience while we ensure the identification of those who have died is carried out with dignity.”
Essex Fire and Crime Commissioner Mr Hirst said: “This is a truly tragic event and of course it has attracted a lot of attention from the media and the public. I have heard from many of our residents how shocked they have been that this has happened in our county and their heartfelt concern for the victims and their families.
“It is very important that Essex Police are being given the time and space to conduct a thorough investigation in these vital first few days. It is by letting Essex Police do what they do best, that the victims and their families will be treated with respect and we can all be confident that everything is being done that can be done to bring those responsible to justice.
“I would like to pay tribute to the work undertaken by Essex Police and our other emergency services, including Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, and partners who have worked so hard in difficult circumstances over the last few days. I would also like to thank the Home Office, National Crime Agency, Border Force and Thurrock Council for their ongoing support.
“As the investigation proceeds and we learn more about how this tragic event has happened I would ask all of you to remember the individuals involved, the victims and their families.
“We recognise the public concern around the incident and the level of impact it is having on communities and local businesses. We thank them for their support at this difficult time. We can assure them everybody is working together to achieve the outcome the victims deserve.”