1. ITV Report

Would you pay more for extra police in Essex?

Essex Police Credit: Press Association.

Essex could get an extra 150 frontline police officers - if a proposal to increase council tax is approved.

Roger Hirst, the county's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, wants to add an average of £12 to the policing precept.

It follows an agreement by ministers that authorities could potentially charge more to help boost their funds.

Roger Hirst, Essex Police, Fire and Police Commissioner Credit: Essex Police.

"It is clear from every public meeting that I attend and from the many officers and members of the public that I talk to, that people want more police officers in their local areas and are prepared to pay to see them."

– Roger Hirst, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

A meeting of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel next Monday (January 22) will discuss the commissioner's proposal. If approved it could mean:

  • 150 more frontline officers in local policing teams - bringing the total number of officers to at least 3,000 by the end of 2018/19
  • 75% of money raised through increased policing element of council tax invested in local services
Essex Police Credit: Press Association.

Mr Hirst said Essex had the lowest funding per resident of any force in the country.

In total, the council tax precept rise will raise an extra £7.524m for Essex Police while a further £3.5m in potential savings have also been identified.

“Overall demand for policing is increasing. Local officers, detectives, specialist teams, PCSOs and police staff are all working hard to keep Essex safe. This new funding will enable the Chief Constable to provide vital new officers."

– Roger Hirst