Further investment in crime prevention
As Essex Police becomes the largest force it has ever been, new crime-fighting teams are forming to make the county safer.
After a promise to invest further in crime prevention to keep communities safe, the force grew by 196 officers during the year 2021/2022.
Those new officers are focused on tackling serious violence, including:
- doubling the size of the Serious Violence Team
- tackling domestic abuse, including a new Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Team
- more officers to tackle serious and organised crime
- new Disruption Teams to deal with crime in local districts
- increased capacity in teams such as Roads Policing and dog handlers.
Working with partners and the public, further investment means that by March 2023, the force will employ a total of 3,755 police officers, making it the largest and strongest it has ever been.
The extra personnel will focus on tackling violence in all its forms, including violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and drug-driven violence and crime prevention work, including boosting Town Centre Teams.
The investment in officers has been complemented by extra investment in support staff and technology to improve efficiency and ensure officers can be visible in their communities rather than stuck behind desks.
Investments in smartphones, body-worn video and tasers have enabled officers to log or process crimes while working within communities, as well as gather extra evidence to bolster cases presented at court.
Investment in technology has also helped to improve the accessibility of the force with online chat, Report It Online and 101 now making the force more accessible than ever.
While this has had a significant impact on call waiting times, which have reduced from 40 minutes to eight minutes over the last four years, it has a bigger impact on the quality and consistency of intelligence received by the force.
Community Safety Engagement Officers were recruited as part of the investment programme to provide greater visibility and communication with communities and strengthen the force’s ability to respond to local issues.
The officers are based in each policing district and work with partners to prevent local issues, such as shoplifting, nuisance motorcycles or intimidating behaviour.
Specialist teams are also deployed to help the continued investment in prevention activity with focused activity from Roads Policing Teams, the Rural and Business Teams and more depending on the evidence-based demand in the local areas.