“Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources, central government (60 per cent) and local council tax (40 per cent). Taking these two funding sources into account Essex Police receives the second lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has one of the lowest council tax precepts for policing.
Over the last two years I carried out surveys asking whether or not you would pay more to increase investment in policing in Essex. Last year, 4,187 people completed the survey and 71 per cent of the people who responded said they would be prepared to invest more in policing to help improve the service provided. As a result, we increased the policing element of Council Tax by £24 a year for the average household. The maximum permitted by the Government without a referendum.
This extra investment is making a difference in Essex, helping us deliver an extra 368 officers, including:
• New town centre teams across the county
• More local policing
• More rural policing
• Growth in specialist officers to tackle gangs and county lines
Combined with the 135 officers being funded by the government as part of the first wave of the 20,000 extra officers they have promised nationally, it means we will be recruiting 503 extra officers by April 2021. Taking into account recent investments in technology and improved efficiency this will make Essex Police as strong as it has ever been.
This extra investment is having an impact on policing in Essex and in recent years, we have seen a reduction in Anti-Social Behaviour, burglary and theft. However, we know that violent crime, domestic abuse and online crime are all increasing nationally and these effects are being felt in Essex.
Like other organisations, the cost of policing is affected by inflation and the increased cost of goods and services. This year we are expecting some significant increases in our costs including a 2.5 per cent increase in police officer and staff wages.
If we want to invest more in policing and crime prevention activities we need to invest more than inflation.
Before we take those decisions, we want to know what you think.
Please fill in the survey below and #MakeADifference – your views are very important.
Please only complete the survey once. The Survey closes at midnight on Sunday 12 January 2020.
Please note: Roger Hirst is the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner but this survey only relates to the policing precept.
If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police here