ESSEX Police has been rated ‘good’ in a new police efficiency report despite having the lowest cost per head than any other force in the country.
A police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) study has rated the force ‘good’ in understanding the demands for its services, how it uses its resources and at planning for the future.
It comes despite a 9% annual increase in recorded crime in the county and a higher number of 999 calls than the national average.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said he was pleased the force were being recognised for their hard work, but argued a lack of funding needed to be ‘urgently’ addressed.
He said: “In policing every decision has a consequence, but today’s report demonstrates that Essex Police has taken the right steps in the face of severe financial constraints to prioritise keeping the most vulnerable people in our county safe.
“Being told we’re ‘performing well across the board’ recognises not only the good work Essex police officers and staff do every day but also our ambition and clarity about the future, even in the most challenging of times.
“Essex Police has the lowest cost of policing per head than any other police force: that needs to be addressed urgently.
“We have more 999 calls for help than the national average and have moved people from local policing teams to deal with horrific crimes like child sexual abuse and rape.
“Today’s report sets out very clearly that we are wringing the benefit out of every penny we have.
“We know how crime is changing, we prioritise the most harmful incidents imaginable and we know how demand for our help will change as Essex changes.
“Work is already underway to improve the experience of people calling the 101 service for help and we will never be satisfied with our work until every victim whom we help is too.
“But I am incredibly proud of the dedication, intelligence and skill of my officers and staff who from frontline to back office are working hard to keep the public safe.”