The establishment of 23 new Town Centre Teams, which are due to be in place this summer, has been announced this week demonstrating another way the force is investing in more local, visible policing.
Essex Police has grown in the last year and we now have a strength of 3062, full time equivalent (FTE) officers serving the people of Essex.
We aimed to reach 3,003** officers during the current financial year (2018/19) which is great news as we are ahead of plans and are seeing a range of good quality and enthusiastic people joining the force.
Further investment is continuing and we plan to establish 23 dedicated teams in town centres working alongside our existing Community Policing Teams (CPTs).
Essex Police has plans for further growth and during the forthcoming year we will bring officer numbers up to 3,218. This will see officer establishment having grown by 153 officer last year (2018/19) and a further 215 in the year to come (2019/20).
Importantly we will also grow our operational police staff by 32 people. They will provide essential and specialist capabilities such as securing civil injunctions against those causing serious harm.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “People across the county have been telling me that they want more police officers and that they were prepared to pay more to get them. My budget this year for Essex Police means the Chief Constable will be able to bring police officers numbers to 3,218 by March next year which will get the force near where it needs to be and deal with the level of demand.
“The increase in officers will make a real difference to our towns and communities. Our vision for Essex is that safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build success and wellbeing for all. One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is more local, visible and accessible policing.
“This boost in resource will make a huge difference to that for the people of Essex.”
Chief Constable BJ Harrington, said: “This is good news for the county. Essex Police is a good force, and an ambitious one and has faced some of the challenges of the last few years head on.
“Now is our time to grow our force once more and ensure that we are tackling the things that most hurt the people of Essex.
“My direction for the force and where these officers will be focused directly supports tackling violence, protecting the vulnerable, providing a better service to victims and providing visibility to the people of Essex of all that we do.
“I am really looking forward to watching our force grow, both in officer and staff numbers but also in the areas of technology as we do more to ensure we deliver the best service we can to all our communities.”
Leadership is an important element and the Town Centre Teams will be led by a sergeant with one in each of the ten Community Policing Teams (CPTs). Building on local knowledge, they will be focussing on tackling violence, protecting the vulnerable, providing a better service to victims and of providing visibility by increasing local community engagement, working closely with local partners, businesses and retailers and reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.
The towns benefiting from a new team have been identified through careful analysis of calls for police service, reported crime and anti-social behaviour in each area along with the population of each town. This has enabled us to prioritise the areas where we know they will have the most impact on crime and disorder. With the ten sergeants and 58 constables this will see 68 officers dedicated to these town centres.
Plans are in place for the officers to be in the teams by the summer 2019.
** Includes 3 officers funded by Epping Forest District Council
The Town Centre Teams constable numbers
Canvey Island 2
Saffron Walden 2
South Ockendon 2
South Woodham Ferrers 2
Waltham Abbey 2