Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has joined colleagues from Essex to meet the new Chief Constable of Essex Police, BJ Harrington in Parliament.

Having taken up the post in October, this was the first opportunity for Essex MPs to find out more about his priorities and bring any major issues to his attention. Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst was also in attendance.

Giles is currently lobbying for more police funding from the Government, having successfully campaigned and attained an increase in precept contributions by up to £1 a month in the 2017/18 Police Funding Settlement. This delivered £8.8m in additional funding for Essex Police and allowed for the recruitment of 150 new police officers in, bringing the total number in the county to over 3,000 – these officers are currently in training and will join local forces in the New Year.

Speaking after the meeting, Giles said:

“I would like to thank the Chief Constable, and Roger, for taking the time to meet with me and my colleagues. We had a constructive discussion and we share the same priorities for our local police force, which is receiving much needed investment this year. We now need to secure additional funding, to build on the 12 new police officers that we will see in our local area from next year.”