Monday, September 26, 2022

Increase in Essex Police numbers will see force concentrate on domestic abuse and drug violence

A PROPOSED council tax rise and record number of police officers will tackle drug driven violence and domestic abuse, the county’s crime commissioner has said.

Essex Police officer numbers will rise to 3,755 by March 2023, with 3,555 being recruited by the end of March this year.

Of an extra 200 officers helped paid for by a council tax increase, 68 will be focused on tackling violence in all forms including violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and drug driven violence.

While there have been significant reductions in burglaries of about a third as well as reductions in antisocial behaviour and serious road injuries, domestic abuse has gone up.

In 2017, there were 33,425 incidents of domestic abuse which increased to 40,166 in 2018 and to 43,396 in 2019

In 2020, there were 41,846 incidents representing about 3,500 a month. In the first half of 2021 there were about 3300 a month.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, said: “The investments we have made in new officers are already making a difference.

“Since 2016 we have seen a 33 per cent reduction in burglary, 15 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 29 per cent reduction in those killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“We now need to do more to tackle drug driven violence, reduce domestic abuse and prevent crime happening in the first place.

“Our continued investment in more officers is about investing in neighbourhood policing and officers specifically focused on tackling violence in our communities and getting crime down.”

Mr Hirst is proposing increasing the policing precept of the council tax by 4.79 per cent or £9.99 per year on a Band D property taking the total bill for 2022/2023 to £218.52.

Mr Hirst added: “We want to see less crime in Essex.

“With the support of the public and the Government we are continuing our ambitious investment programme to ensure that Essex Police have the resources they need to get crime down, protect the vulnerable and support victims of crime.

“By March 2022, there will already be over 700 more police officers in Essex than there were in 2016 and if my proposals are accepted by the Police and Crime Panel next week this will increase by a further 200.

“This investment is being used to prevent crime and make a real difference in people’s lives.

“Incidents of burglary, anti-social behaviour and theft have all fallen in recent years and drug driven violence is starting to show a decline too.

“However, we know we need to do more and by investing in Essex Police, it will help us to prevent crime, have stronger neighbourhood policing and an even stronger focus on tackling drug driven violence and gangs.

“It will also help us support the victims of crime and protect those most vulnerable from becoming victims.”

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