Harlow Labour denounces Essex Police Chief’s plan to increase council tax

News / Thu 16th Nov 2017 at 06:22pm

Roger Hirst 2

Harlow Labour denounces Essex Police Chief’s plan to increase council tax to fund Essex Police

HARLOW Labour has responded angrily to news that Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst is looking to raise funds to compensate for cuts made by his own government to policing through an increase in council tax.

Mr Hirst, who announced that his priorities would include “more local, visible and accessible policing and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour” when he was elected Commissioner in 2016, has said this week that at every public meeting he hears that residents want more police on the streets but that he doesn’t have the money or resources to deliver it. He has also admitted that the demand on the police service is rising.

Chris Vince, Labour’s PCC Candidate in 2016 and candidate for Great Parndon in next May’s council elections, said today: “Roger Hirst has effectively admitted that he cannot keep the people of Essex safe because his own government is not providing him with enough money to do so.

“And rather than demand that next week’s budget includes a reversal of the cuts that have depleted our police forces and left them incapable dealing with crime, he is looking to further increase council tax. A Band D property already pays £157.05 towards policing in Essex, following a 3.25% increase last year.”

According to Home Office figures, since Theresa May became Home Secretary in 2010, the number of police officers has fallen by 21,500 in England and Wales and reports this week suggest that the 2015 central government settlement had left forces with a £350m funding gap over the next two years which will lead to a further loss of 6,000 police officers.

In Harlow, there have been reports of just one police officer on duty at a given time with responsibility for 80,000 people.

Chris Vince said; “The truth is that Roger Hirst daren’t go to his own government for funds. His boss, Amber Rudd told police chiefs and commissioners earlier this month that when crime stats go up, she doesn’t want them ‘reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money’. She wants them to tell their local communities and the victims what their plans are for making them safer.

“Roger Hirst’s plan is to increase their council tax.”

In Harlow, the Labour controlled Council has recently announced plans to recruit an additional three Community Safety Officers (CSOs) specifically to respond to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour. These have been funded from the careful and sustainable management of the Council’s finances, including ongoing revenues raised by the establishment of the Council owned HTS, taking over Housing and Landscape maintenance from Keir.

Chris Vince said; “The Council’s recruitment of three new PCSOs will be welcomed by all residents, particularly those in Bush Fair and the Stow where there have been some very worrying crimes over the last year and distressing incidence of antisocial behaviour.

“However, we still need more trained police officers on our streets, particularly as by the Commissioner’s own admission, crimes are becoming more complex and we know that local policing is key to countering terrorism.

“The choice could not be starker between a Tory government which is propping up the country on the backs of public sector workers and people on low incomes and Labour which is committed to investing in all our public services and to putting an extra 10,000 police officers on the streets. This we will pay for by increasing taxes on the very wealthy, a reversal of cuts to corporation tax and a crackdown on industrial scale tax avoidance such as we have seen in the Paradise Papers.

“I call on Roger Hirst and our MP, Robert Halfon to demand that their government provides the funds to keep the residents of Essex safe in next week’s budget.”

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7 Comments for Harlow Labour denounces Essex Police Chief’s plan to increase council tax:

2017-11-18 08:18:00

Pardon me for asking, but, didn't this Tory government offer premium payments to this shower that calls itself the ruling party, to alleviate the need to increase local taxes, but, it was refused by guess who ? Hypocritical or what ? I wonder if this offer is still available ? The increase requested by our PCC is a drop in the ocean. When it comes to voting next time will you really believe anything that these lefties drone on about ? Trust them !!! at your peril.

2017-11-18 20:50:26

Sorry, is this the same Labour Party who have increased their Council Tax every year for the last five years? Not just a little hypocritical from someone who doesn't live in Harlow?

tony edwards
2017-11-19 15:04:03

Essex Police have cut over 780 police officer posts since 2010. They now receive the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country. Asking to increase the Police Precept without also asking for and receiving additional central government funds will go nowhere near to resolving the acute funding and staffing crisis that Essex Police now face. This is a matter for Government to urgently address. The local Tories would do well to back the PCC in a demand for additional central government funding. Harlow requires extra Police Officers urgently. Ps By the way Chris Vince does live in Harlow

2017-11-21 08:04:21

Just a question T E. Are you a qualified accountant, or, do you personally have access to police accounts ?

tony edwards
2017-11-21 17:22:54

No - I am simply quoting Roger Hirst the Police and Crime Commissioner and figures provided by the Essex Police Federation . http://essexfedfocus.co.uk/?p=3836

2017-11-23 14:06:47

As I've mentioned in another piece, TE, you always quote somebody else's opinion, never offer your own. Good old labour stunt, "I never said that, I was quoting what he said". Trust labour at your peril.

tony edwards
2017-11-26 13:54:46

MickyB77 You might be interested in this link to the Essex Police Federation https://twitter.com/EssexPoliceFed The Essex Police Force is now severely underfunded and understaffed.

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