Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, is promoting the precept survey launched by Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
The survey, which runs until 20th December, seeks resident’s views on funding for policing and fire rescue services in Essex. These views will inform the 2021/2022 policing and fire and rescue services budget for the county, just as they have previously informed the recent Police and Crime Plan.
Launching the survey, Mr Hirst said:
“Over the last three years, with the help of Essex MPs, we have secured substantially more Government funding for policing and with residents support have been able to increase funds locally to increase the number of police officers.
“By March 2021 there will be 519 more officers in Essex than there were in 2018, 384 of them as a result of the increase in your local Council Tax precept and efficiencies achieved by Essex Police, and 135 from the national police uplift programme. Taking into account recent investments in technology and improved efficiency this will make Essex Police as strong as it has ever been
“We want to ensure policing priorities in Essex reflect the needs of the communities they serve. We know that this is a difficult financial time for residents and any plans to increase council tax must be considered very carefully. That’s why it’s so important that people take part in the survey and have their say.”
The survey can be accessed here: https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/news/have-your-say-on-paying-for-policing-and-fire-and-rescue-services-in-essex/. Alternative ways of having a say are available. People can call 01245 291600, leave full details and be called back, or they can email email@example.com.
For Giles, getting more police officers onto our streets is one of the highest priorities. He led the campaign in 2017 to increase police funding, which has enabled Essex Police to strengthen in recent years. With new officers recruited since 2019, there are now 3,398 officers in Essex, which is the highest number in the force since 2013, and 579 higher than before Giles’ election in 2017.
This means that there are now more frontline officers on our streets to keep the public safe, and since the launch of the Government’s recruitment campaign one year ago, a total of 5,824 extra officers have joined police forces across England and Wales. These statistics confirm that the Government remains fully on track to meet its manifesto commitment of recruiting 20,000 extra officers by 2023 and is ahead of schedule to have the first 6,000 in place by March 2021.
Speaking about the survey, Giles said:
“Essex Police has benefitted from recent investment and we have new officers on our streets, which is incredibly welcome. By backing our police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we are keeping the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime. That what I have been working towards ever since being elected.
“This survey is an important opportunity for residents to shape future investment and the focus of the force going forward. I would encourage everyone to take the time to complete this survey.”