Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the news that Essex Police are ahead of their target for police recruitment, with a range of good quality and enthusiastic people joining the force.

Essex Police has grown in the last year and there are now 3,062 full time equivalent officers serving. The force aimed to reach 3,003 officers in this financial year, so they are ahead of target and more officers are on the way, with Essex Police aiming to reach 3,218 officers in the forthcoming financial year.

In total, officer numbers have grown by 368 since the 2018/19 financial year, which justifies recent increases in the local precept contributions that Giles was able to secure in the Police Funding Settlement 2017/18.

Further investment plans include the establishment of 23 dedicated teams in town centres working alongside Essex Police’s existing Community Policing Teams. These Town Centre Teams (TCTs) will focus on tackling violence, protecting the vulnerable, reducing anti-social behaviour, and providing a better service to victims and of providing visibility by increasing local community engagement. Plans are in place for these officers to be in place by Summer 2019 and 6 police officers will work in TCTs across Tendring. This follows the recent increase of 12 officers and there is a further increase of 5 officers planned.

Therefore, in the policing district that includes the Clacton constituency, there will be an extra 23 officers in place. This is thanks, in part, to the precept increases that Giles secured.

Giles said:

“I was pleased to lead the campaign on this issue in Parliament, which enabled our local Police and Crime Commissioner to maintain precept increases into this financial year. This is valuable investment, and constituents have told me regularly that they want more visible policing, and I understand that this phased expansion of Essex Police numbers will get it to where it needs to be deal with current demand. It is right that local, visible and accessible policing is a priority, and this boost in resource will deliver that.”