Improving police and fire services in Essex
Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will both benefit from further investment now budget proposals put forward by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner have been agreed.
In the budget for 2020/21, Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, recommended that the policing element of Council Tax should rise by 2.94 per cent to cover inflationary costs. This is the equivalent to an increase of £5.67 a year from £192.96 to £198.63 for a Band D property. In terms of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Hirst is proposing that its element of the Council Tax precept should rise by 1.99 per cent, the equivalent of an increase of £1.44 a year from, £72.45 to £73.89 for a Band D property.
The proposals were discussed and agreed at the Police, Fire and Crime Panel meeting which took place today (Thursday, February 6) at County Hall in Chelmsford.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “In the next financial year, with this additional investment, the Chief Constable will be able to recruit a further 151 officers increasing the total number in Essex Police to 3,369. A growth of 519 officers in three years.
“The Chief Constable plans to recruit 22 new officers to be based in local communities, working directly with partners and the public in towns and villages across Essex.
He will also use this funding to recruit 88 officers to investigate, gather intelligence and bring the most serious offenders in our county to justice.
“To support this Essex Police will also be adding 41 officers into specialist capabilities within the force, such as firearm officers, cybercrime specialists as well as investing to increase the use of Tasers significantly. This will be accompanied by the support staff, equipment and facilities to help make Essex an even safer place to live.
“Over the past two years I have increased the Council Tax precept for policing and as a result the Chief Constable has been able to grow the force. Thanks to the public’s contribution we have already recruited 368 extra officers. There are now Town Centre Teams, more officers dedicated to tackling gangs and serious crime, a new Business Team coming, schools’ officers and an expanded Rural Engagement Team.
“This year, thanks to the Government’s recent Police Spending Settlement announcement which is boosting police finances we will be able to add a further 151 officers and we don’t have to contribute so much ourselves. So, for the next financial year, I am proposing the policing element of Council Tax will rise by 2.94 per cent to cover inflationary costs. This is the equivalent to an increase of £5.67 a year from £192.96 to £198.63 for a Band D property.
“In terms of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, its element of the Council Tax precept will rise by 1.99 per cent. The equivalent of an increase of £1.44 a year from, £72.45 to £73.89 for a Band D property. We will be using the increase to invest in training of our firefighters, on-call development and technical fire safety and protection activities.”