Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, detailed financial plans to boost Essex Police’s finances by raising the policing element of the Council Tax precept were approved by members of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
The budget will enable the Chief Constable to recruit an additional 215 police officers over the next year to focus on visible, frontline policing.
In a public survey carried out by Mr Hirst at the end of last year, more than 71 per cent of respondents said they would be prepared to invest more in policing to help improve the service provided. Seventy-three per cent of positive respondents said they would be prepared to pay at least £20 a year more. In the light of that and following discussions with Chief Constable B J Harrington, Mr Hirst is going to increase the policing element of the Council Tax by £24 a year for the average household, the maximum permitted by government without a referendum. This will mean that the average Band D property will pay £192.96 for policing in a year, an increase of £2 per month. The current levy is £169.02 per year.
In relation to the budget for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Hirst was also given the green light by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel to increase the precept by roughly the rate of inflation. This will be equivalent to an increase of £2.07 a year resulting in a rise from £70.38 to £72.45 for a Band D Council Tax property.
The money will be invested in 215 additional police officers on top of the 150 recruited this year as well as 32 operational police staff and 18 police support staff. They will be divided into a number of teams including:
In terms of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, the budget for 2019/2020 will include investment in a number of initiatives including:
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