Harlow residents may have to pay even more for policing

Crime / Mon 16th Apr 2018 at 02:06pm

By Local Democracy Reporter

Piers Meyler

HARLOW residents are likely to be landed with a £12 increase on their council tax bill next year to fund policing costs – in addition to the £12 added this year for the same reason.

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner for Essex has warned that the £12 increase levied on Essex council tax bills this year is not enough to pay for all the extra officers he aims to recruit in the next two years.

Mr Hirst wants to see as many as many as 290 extra officers recruited between now and 2020, taking the total number to around 3140 through an extra investment of around £15 million.

Most of the 150 officers paid for from this year’s council tax increases will not be in place until January 2019.

Cllr Chris Hossack, who sits on the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel, said: “If you to come back to ask for £12 a year then what matters to the public is what the results are.

“The issue is that a year from the decision taken to deploy these extra 150 officers, a lot will not have have been in post for a year so we won’t be able to measure the impact.

“Therefore the public might ask ‘what did I get for my £12 last time?’ And the truth is it will be very hard to answer that.”

He added: “I think it be a challenge to do that next year if we can’t fully justify the decision from the previous year.”

53 of the additional officers are due to join the Local Policing Team (LPT), with 50 to the community policing team, 21 to the local domestic abuse investigation team, and one to the cyber crime investigation team.

Mr Hirst said: “The ones we start to recruit now on the back of this precept increase will not land until January 2010.

“Twenty of them will land in October but most will not start to land until January and we will not have them all in place until March 2019.

“The public will be not be seeing the news ones yet but will see the investment in technology and the investment made in more mobile working.”

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