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Precept rise to fund 150 new police officers for Essex

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh (left) with Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst. Picture ARCHANT

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh (left) with Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst. Picture ARCHANT

Archant

Essex will see 150 new front line police officers in communities across the county from next year.

Police have closed one lane of the road at Claydon. Picture: ARCHANTPolice have closed one lane of the road at Claydon. Picture: ARCHANT

The new bobbies on the beat will be paid for from the increase in Essex Police’s share of council tax, which equates to around an additional £12 a year on the average household bill.

The force says the officers will be recruited and trained this year, and will be out on the front line in Essex communities from January, working mainly in local teams.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said the announcement is a start and “makes the thin blue line a good deal less thin”.

He said: “I’ve heard communities across Essex tell me they are hugely grateful for what my officers and staff do but people want to see more of us more often in their communities.

“I agree with them and my promise has always been that when funding allows we will invest in those local teams to help communities but also give my teams support.

“Now we can put more cops in communities and give hardworking officers dealing with traumatic incidents more support and resilience. Over the last five years I’ve taken officers from local policing teams so they can work on harmful, complex crimes. That was never an easy decision but it was a right one and necessary to protect the people who need us most.”

Local policing teams will see 53 new officers to work on the front line on patrol, responding to emergency and priority calls.

Community policing teams will get an extra 50 officers to increase visibility, prevent crime and work on the front line with partners to tackle crime and community problems, such as anti-social behaviour.

There will be 21 more detectives to investigate domestic abuse and help vulnerable people to safety, and 25 officers will go to the uniformed Operational Support Group (OSG).

The force’s ability to tackle the rise in online crime will also be bolstered by adding an extra specialist officer to the Cyber Crime Unit.

Mr Kavanagh added: “I know 150 officers in Essex cannot be the end of the story, though. We still face big challenges and we’ll still have to prioritise our time and make really difficult decisions about the incidents we deal with.

“But this announcement is a start and it makes the thin blue line a good deal less thin in Essex.”

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