Essex residents have been promised significant extra neighbourhood policing, including more officers in town centres, as part of increased investment in policing in the county over the next year.
The increased number of officers comes after the Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service budget and associated council tax increase was agreed by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel.
The budget, proposed by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington and set by Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, whould result in a further 200 officers being recruited by Essex Police. The extra officers will take the total size of the force to 3,755 officers by March 2023 – an increase of 900 officers since 2016.
The funding for the extra officers will come from a combination of increased central government funding and an increase in the policing precept, which will add £9.99 per year to the council tax on a Band D property.
The Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel has also agreed Mr Hirst’s proposal for a 2% increase to the fire and rescue precept of £1.44 increase on a Band D property. This rise is said to 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 effective delivery of its training programme.