Saturday, January 28, 2023

Future of council funded police to be discussed in secret

SECRET discussions are set to be held over the future of Thurrock Council funded police officers reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The funding of four police officers was due to be discussed at Tuesday’s cleaner, greener, safer overview and scrutiny committee.

Press and public were excluded from the debate however, because of “financial confidentiality”.

The committee discussed “options” open to the council regarding the officers but with the council desperately seeking to plug a £469 funding gap, the options could include cut backs or scrapping the team altogether.

The council, which has now declared itself effectively bankrupt by issuing a s114 notice, invested £750,000 over three years to provide more cops on the beat in town centre trouble spots.

Previous reports to the scrutiny committee have highlighted the positive effect the extra officers have had while working with the Town Centre Police team.

The team has prioritised tackling antisocial behaviour, protecting the vulnerable and tackling crimes against businesses.

The extra officers have taken part in a number of operations, including Operation Smile against antisocial behaviour and drug dealing around the Garrison parade shops, The Green, and surrounding roads in Purfleet.

While Government appointed commissioners investigate the council’s ill-judged investments made by borrowing millions of pounds from other authorities, the Conservative led administration has made it clear that nothing is off the table as it seeks to improve its financial situation. Statutory services will be preserved, however.

The administration was asked to comment.

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