Approval given for Police part of Council Tax to be increased

POLICE, Fire and Crime Panel approves increase in Council Tax to provide 150 more frontline officers for Essex Police

Members of the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel have approved Roger Hirst’s proposal of an average £12 increase in Council Tax to provide 150 more frontline officers for Essex Police.
Mr Hirst’s plans will result in:

• Essex Police being able to recruit 150 more frontline officers primarily for local policing teams (bringing the total number of officers to at least 3000 by the end of 2018-2019)

• Three quarters of all additional money raised through the police element of local Council Tax being invested in local policing

• A district by district plan showing communities where the extra investment will go

In a recent public survey carried out by Mr Hirst, approximately two thirds (65%) of people said they would be prepared to see the police element of local Council Tax increased by more than 2% so that more money could be made available for policing in Essex. Three-quarters (75%) of people who gave a view said they were prepared to contribute an additional £10 more per year to invest in policing and the majority of people said they were prepared to contribute over £20.

Mr Hirst said: “Essex Police has had the lowest funding per resident of any force in the country. I am delighted that my proposal has been approved. I can now increase the police element of Council Tax by £12 for a band D property, which is just £1 per month, to help us respond to the changing nature of crime and provide more local, visible and accessible policing.”

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner budget for 2018-2019 is £277.429 million funded approximately two thirds by Government grant and one third local Council Tax. The approved increase is a 7.62% rise in the police element of local Council Tax, equivalent to an increase of £11.97 a year from £157.05 to £169.02 for a Band D property, raising an additional £7.524 million.

Essex Police has also identified a further £3.5 million in potential savings by working more efficiently and this money will be reinvested back into the force.
These investments are part of a comprehensive transformation programme currently being delivered by Essex Police that includes investment in new technology, in training and development and in modern, fit for purpose stations.

Mr Hirst added: “Overall demand for policing is increasing. Local officers, detectives, specialist teams, PCSOs and police staff are all working hard to keep Essex safe. This new funding will enable the Chief Constable to provide vital new officers. They will be joining one of the most efficient forces in the country as assessed by Her Majesty’s Inspectors. We will continue to look for ways to improve efficiency and provide a better service for the people of Essex.”

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