Essex Police set to hire an additional 151 officers

Police recruits

ESSEX Police is set to hire an additional 151 officers as its council tax precept is due to increase by nearly three per cent.

Most of these officers will be funded through the government’s Police Uplift Programme, as part of the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government would fund 20,000 extra officers though central government grants.

But residents are expected to be asked to contribute though council tax increases the equivalent to an increase of £5.67 for a Band D household.

It means the annual bill is to increase from £192.96 to £198.63 for a Band D, raising an extra £5.3million.

From that recruitment drive of 151 officers an additional 55 detectives will be created, as well as nine specialist firearms officers, three specialist traffic collision officers and 11 managing sexual violent offender and online investigations.

There will be an additional 135 operational officers who are available to go on patrol.

At the end of March 2021 Essex Police plan to have 3,369 officers, this is another increase in officer recruitment following on from the 368 additional officers recruited over the last two years.

This will mean that Essex Police will have grown by 519 officers since 2017/18.

RogerHirst, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “After this we will be back to the 2012 levels and the levels where we were successfully reducing crime across the country before, but we are not back to peak.

“And we need to recognise there are more complex crime and new crimes such as cyber crimes and we need to recognise particularly the population has grown and we continue to invest.

“But this is going to be powerful and strong enough to really make a difference.”

The past two years have seen significant increases to Essex Police officers numbers funded by a total £36 increase on the council tax bill for a band D household.

That helped pay to increase the number of officers from 2,850 in 2017/18 to 3,218 for 2019/2020.

Mr Hirst said: “We are expanding at the fastest pace we can but we don’t think it’s over yet. We will be continuing to invest for at least two more years.

“The government has said it will fund two more years of expansion and it will largely be on the back of the government expansion.

“By the time we get to the end of the government’s 20,000 uplift we will have more police officers in Essex than we have ever had before.”

The tax increases come after two thirds of residents who responded to a police funding consultation earlier in January supported an increase in the police precept.

He added: “The public are really supporting this expansion.”

The proposals are set to be agreed at an Essex Police panel on Thursday, February 6.

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