Newly appointed Home Secretary and Essex MP Priti Patel has met with Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and Essex Police to see how the Force is growing.
Her visit comes in the wake of the government’s announcement to recruit 20,000 new officers across the country over the next three years.
Essex Police has already seen 150 new officers hit the streets from an increase in funding from council tax in 18/19 and the Force is in the process of recruiting a further 215 police officers and 50 police staff by the end of March 2020.
Ms Patel met up with local officers in her home constituency of Witham, which has just seen growth in the form of a new Town Centre Team launched two weeks ago, providing an increase in visible policing.
She heard how the investment places more officers in 23 locations across the county which is part of the Force’s dedication to visible, frontline officers tackling issues which matter to communities including drug dealing and antisocial behaviour.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“It is great for Essex that we have a Home Secretary who knows Essex and Essex Police; and is an advocate for more visible policing and stronger enforcement. Knowing how capable she is gives me confidence that the recruitment of 20,000 more police officers across the country will be delivered in short order and I am sure Essex will get its share of those.
“Clearly, investment in policing and the rise in serious violence is our number one priority. It was also a good opportunity to talk about how we are implementing our new Fire and Rescue Plan in Essex and optimising the resources of the fire and rescue service and police together to make Essex a safer place.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“It was a privilege to go on patrol with Essex Police today and see the outstanding neighbourhood policing they do day in day out.
“Protecting the public is a priority for this Government and we are bolstering the police’s ranks with 20,000 new officers over the next three years.
“As we saw from the horrific attack on an officer in east London this week, police officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us all safe. That is why as Home Secretary I’ll do everything in my power to ensure police forces, including Essex, have the support they need.”
Chief Constable BJ Harrington said:
“When we see the difficult and dangerous job our brave officers are doing in London and also in Essex, it makes us even more determined to tackle violence in our communities.
“The commitment from Government to enable forces to recruit more officers nationally is positive and I’m keen to know what the allocation will be for Essex.
“The introduction of 23 new Town Centre Teams is just one of a number of ways the Essex force is growing this year. We will also see increases in our rural policing teams, roads policing, business crime and areas of the force which investigate crimes committed against vulnerable people.”
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