Essex will not miss out - assurances over Boris’ extra police officers

Essex will get a share of the 20,000 additional police officers promised by Boris Johnson Picture:

Essex will get a share of the 20,000 additional police officers promised by Boris Johnson Picture: PA WIRE - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

There is ‘zero chance’ that towns including Colchester, Braintree and Clacton will miss out on their fair share of the additional 20,000 police officers promised by newly-elected PM Boris Johnson.

The assurance comes from Roger Hirst, the police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, who says he the county will still benefit despite the fact there are already local plans in place to bolster numbers.

Mr Hirst has raised the police precept portion of council tax twice in two years by £36 to £192 - enough of a rise to recruit an additional 365 officers.

Reassuring tax payers, he said: "I have been involved in the design of the policy and there is zero chance that Essex will miss out."

Essex residents were told this year that the policing element of council tax would increase by £24 a year for the average household to pay for an additional 215 police officers, meaning that the average Band D property will now pay £192.96 for policing in a year - up from £169.02.

Last year there was a £12 increase to fund a 150 additional officers joining Essex Police. These officers have been recruited, trained and are arriving in communities now.

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By the time the final deployment is completed by April 2020, the number of officers will be more than 3,200 and at a level that the original analysis showed would provide a sustainable foundation to tackle demand.

And now Essex is set to see a further boost to policing numbers after Boris Johnson and the Home Secretary Priti Patel, MP for Witham announced funding for an additional 20,000 police recruits across the country.

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Mr Hirst said: "This is good news for Essex, good news for policing and good news for the country.

"We have already secured significant extra funding for policing nationally and for Essex Police over the last two years. As a result of this we are already recruiting 368 extra officers. Our new Home Secretary Priti Patel played an important role in securing this extra funding for policing. She knows Essex Police; she knows policing and is an advocate for more visible policing and stronger enforcement."

He continued: "The government has recognised for a long time that the funding formula needs to be changed. We have a good evidence based case for what should happen and whoever is in government should be listening to that. Knowing Priti and how capable she is, it gives me more confidence that this will be delivered in short order."

The announcement of funding for extra officers came the day before Mr Hirst, who is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners lead on funding formula, set out details of his own conversations at Westminster with Ms Patel and the Prime Minister.

He said: "With Priti Patel we were talking about the speed to which the new resources can be deployed, what the barriers are and we talked at length about the new police education qualification framework which is the thing designed to get police qualification up to degree level.

"There is going to be tension there, between the roll out of a brand new training programme and the need to get 20,000 more officers deployed over the very similar time frame."

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