PFCC proposals will make Essex Police the strongest it has ever been with 200 more police officers to tackle violence and prevent crime
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex will outline his 2022/2023 budget proposals to the Essex Police and Crime Panel next week. If approved the proposals will lead to a further 200 officers being recruited by Essex Police to help prevent crime, tackle violence and improve visible policing in our communities.
The extra officers will take the total growth of the force since 2016 to over 900 officers, making it the largest it has ever been.
Mr Hirst is proposing increasing the policing precept of the Council Tax by 4.79 per cent or £9.99 per year on a Band D property.
Combined with extra investment from central Government, this additional investment will allow the force to continue its ambitious recruitment programme bringing police officer numbers in the county up to 3,755 by March 2023, with 3,555 being recruited by the end of March this year.
The 200 additional officers, plus an extra 72.4 police staff members will be focused on tackling violent crime including violence against women and girls and domestic abuse as well as crime prevention. The investment will also boost the force’s ability to investigate crime by improving training and professional standards and ensuring officers are effectively supported to carry out their roles efficiently.
Mr Hirst is also proposing a two per cent increase to the fire and rescue precept or £1.44 increase on a Band D property. This rise would cover inflationary cost pressures on Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, while also allowing the Service to continue to invest in its protection programme, recruit on-call firefighters and ensure continued effective delivery of its training programme.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: We want to see less crime in Essex. With the support of the public and the Government we are continuing our ambitious investment programme to ensure that Essex Police have the resources they need to get crime down, protect the vulnerable and support victims of crime.
“By March 2022, there will already be over 700 more police officers in Essex than there were in 2016 and if my proposals are accepted by the Police and Crime Panel next week this will increase by a further 200.
“This investment is being used to prevent crime and make a real difference in people’s lives. Incidents of burglary, anti-social behaviour and theft have all fallen in recent years and drug driven violence is starting to show a decline too.
“However, we know we need to do more and by investing in Essex Police, it will help us to prevent crime, have stronger neighbourhood policing and an even stronger focus on tackling drug driven violence and gangs. It will also help us support the victims of crime and protect those most vulnerable from becoming victims.”
He added: “Our fire and rescue service do a great job, preventing harm, protecting those most at risk and providing an effective response to incidents. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is working hard to increase its Fire Protection Capability to provide an effective response to the increased risk identified in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. It is also focused on improving its capacity to effectively prevent fires, investing in training resources for our firefighters, recruiting and retaining our on-call firefighters and ensuring that prevention is at the heart of everything it does.
“The proposals I have put forward for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will support the service to continue to do more of this work as it continues to improve the services it can offer for our communities.”
Both services have worked hard in recent years to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations and have been independently assessed as providing good value for money to the public by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.
The proposals for Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were supported by the results of a public survey held between the 3rd of November and 21st of December 2021. In the survey 2,005 people provided their views with 50 per cent of people willing to investment more in policing and 79% of those who gave a view willing to invest £10 or more. For Fire and Rescue Services 67 per cent were willing to fund at least a 2 per cent increase with 31 per cent willing to invest a further 5 per cent. The full results of the public survey are available on our website.
The budget proposals will be considered by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel which meets on Thursday, February 3rd. The full papers for the meeting and budget proposals can be viewed here
The main points are:
200 more police officers, taking the force up to 3,755 officers by March 2023 the largest it’s ever been
Of those extra officers:
- 68 will be focused on tackling violence in all forms including violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and drug driven violence
- 78 will concentrate on crime prevention work and being visible in communities including boosting town centre and community policing teams
- 44 will focus on investigating crime and building a more professional force
- 10 will support the Regional Organised Crime Unit
There will also be more than 70 police staff roles supporting the areas above.
An increase of the policing element of the council tax precept of £9.99 per year for a Band D property, or 4.79 per cent, taking the cost to £218.52.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
The additional investment will allow Essex County Fire and Rescue Services to manage inflationary pressures and continue to invest in improving its service to the public, including:
- Fire Protection Capacity to provide an effective response to the increased risk identified in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry,
- Investing in prevention activity
- Improved training provision and resources for firefighters
- Recruiting and retaining on-call firefighters
An increase of the fire and rescue element of the council tax precept of £1.44 per year for a Band D property, or 1.95 per cent, taking the cost to £75.33.