Essex Police Statement of Challenges
HMIC PEEL Interim Crime Inspection (Summer 2014)
Essex is a diverse county of 1,300 square miles with 400 miles of coast. It has a number of urban conurbations and borders London. 75% of the county comprises agricultural land and almost a third of residents live in rural areas.
The population of Essex is currently 1.7 million, estimated to increase to 2 million by 2021. 9.2% of Essex residents are of minority ethnic origin. (1)
In five areas of Essex, deprivation exceeds the national average in all four measurement criteria: Employment, Education, Health and Disability, and Housing. (1)
Passengers through Stansted Airport (fourth busiest in UK) numbered 19 million in the last year (annual growth rate 8.4%) (2) whilst a further 2 million travelled through Southend Airport. (3)
The London Gateway port located in Stanford-le-Hope is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and the Port of Harwich deals with freight and passengers from Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.
Essex Police responded to 1,079,369 calls in the year to March 2014, 218,628 of which were emergency calls. Almost 17 million miles were driven in police vehicles. (4)
Since a peak in 2003/4, there has been a 30.8% (44,462 offences) decrease in crime. Continuing challenges include: tackling domestic abuse, serious sexual crime and violent crime. There is also an emergence of gang-related crime, primarily involving the supply of controlled drugs and associated criminality. (4)
Essex has one of the lowest council tax precepts in the country and since 2010 the force has made almost £50 million in savings, reducing its workforce by 900 full-time staff. The net revenue expenditure budget for 2014/15 is £272 million.
The number of officers per 1,000 head of population has reduced from a peak of 2.11 in 2001 to 1.74 in 2011.
There is a strong collaborative relationship with Kent Police and a number of specialist operational and support functions are delivered by joint units.
Sources of information:
(1) 2011 Census
(2) MAG Stansted Airport website
(3) Southend Airport Administration
(4) Force data