Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex’s Precept Survey
Have your say on paying for policing and fire and rescue services in Essex
What are your thoughts on paying for policing and fire rescue services in Essex? Do you want more investment in the services and what are your priorities? These are the questions being asked by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
He is asking for your opinion before he sets out plans for the 2021/2022 policing and fire and rescue services budget for the county. Please fill in this survey to give your views.
Funding for Essex Police comes from two sources, central government funding and local council tax. 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.
Roger Hirst said: “Over the last three years, we have secured substantially more Government funding for policing and with your support have been able to increase funds locally to increase the number of police officers.
“By March 2021 there will be 519 more officers in Essex than there were in 2018, – 384 of them as a result of the increase in your local Council Tax precept and efficiencies achieved by Essex Police, and 135 from the national police uplift programme.
“Taking into account recent investments in technology and improved efficiency this will make Essex Police as strong as it has ever been.
“We’ve seen a reduction in recorded crime over the last year, with over 9,000 fewer offences recorded and, importantly, fewer victims of crime between September 2019 and September 2020, compared to the year before. Even before COVID we were seeing significant reductions in burglary, theft and anti-social behaviour.
“We want to ensure policing priorities in Essex reflect the needs of the communities they serve.
“Previously we asked you what your priorities were, and your answers were reflected in the recent Police and Crime Plan Extension which can be read here.
“We have invested heavily in local, accessible and visible policing, have reduced anti-social behaviour, helped protect vulnerable children and adults from harm and reduced serious harm on our roads working with our partners at the Safer Essex Roads Partnership. We are tackling gangs and organised crime as well as helping to break the cycle of domestic abuse. Together we have made significant progress against the priorities you told us you wanted Essex Police to focus on and we know we need to do more to reduce domestic abuse, violence in our communities and drug-driven violence.
“The fire and rescue service in Essex does not have the same level of need for investment as Essex Police but does face several challenges including providing fire protection that can respond to the outcomes of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, training needs and continuous on-call firefighter recruitment.
“We know that this is a difficult financial time for you and any plans to increase council tax must be considered very carefully. That’s why it’s so important you take part in the survey and have your say.”
The survey is online but alternative ways of having a say are available. People can call 01245 291600, leave full details and be called back or they can email [email protected].
The survey will close at midnight on Sunday, December 20.
The Band D Council Tax for policing in Essex for 2020/21 is £198.63 per year. For fire and rescue services it is £73.89 for a Band D property.
This is not a referendum, it is an opportunity to gauge opinions so those views can be taken into account as part of the decision making process.