Police Commissioner says increasing tax 'has been the right choice for Essex'

Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex - Credit: PFCC

A Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said that increasing tax has been the right choice in Essex. 

PFCC Roger Hirst made the statement after the publication of the 2019-2020 Annual Report for Essex Police. 

The report reveals Essex has experienced an increase in overall crime of 5.4 per cent over this period. 

It also shows that Essex Police is now a growing force with 519 extra officers due to join its ranks by April 2021. These officers were largely paid for through increases in the policing precept and as part of the national officer uplift programme introduced by the Prime Minister in 2019. 
Mr Hirst said: “While increasing tax is always a difficult choice to make, the support shown by the public and illustrated through our regular public engagements and surveys, coupled with the support of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, shows that in Essex this was the right choice. 
“The officers that have been recruited are already having an impact. During 2019-2020 Essex Police has strengthened its local policing teams across the county, bolstered its community policing teams and introduced new town centre teams. These extra officers are providing a more local and visible presence in our communities and are linking in well with their Community Safety Partnerships to identify and proactively deal with issues important to local residents.” 

He added: “In Essex, we have supported significant increases in funding to enable the Chief Constable to recruit more officers and this has seen the force grow at its fastest rate in a generation. This increased strength has enabled the force to provide more visible patrols, more reassurance and to respond more effectively to the emerging challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

An additional 22 town centre teams were introduced across Essex in July 2019 and include 12 sergeants and 58 constables. These highly visible officers target where Essex Police knows that proactive, visible activity can have a big positive impact on crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as increase public confidence. 

A full version of the annual report can be viewed at https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20210201-Annual-Report-2019-2020.pdf