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Harlow residents set to face another hike in police and crime part of council tax

Crime / Fri 2nd Feb 2024 at 07:23am

ESSEX Police is now the biggest and strongest it has ever been in its 184-year history and this year’s budget aims to maintain this investment in community safety claims Essex Police.

A spokesperson said: “The budget, proposed by Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) and today endorsed by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel, will allow more police officers to be visible in communities across the county, following an increase of 905 officers added to the force since 2016.

“The budget will also allow Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to drive forward its improvement programme which includes more protection and prevention services and excellent firefighter training. The increase will also ensure firefighters and staff are properly paid.

 “All this will be achieved by a combined precept increase which will cost a Band D property 30p a week.”

Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst said: “Our investment programme in Essex Police is working. Since 2016 anti-social behaviour is down 71.3% and incidents of burglary are down 43%. In the last year, total crime is down by 5.7%.

“At the core of our approach, what has worked over the last eight years, is visible policing at the heart of our communities. Our communities deserve to live in safe neighbourhoods where police are not strangers but visible, responsive and working with local businesses, groups and neighbourhoods to identify and tackle crime and ASB.

“We know the current financial situation is difficult and both services are facing significant increases due to a high inflation rate. My proposal continues our investment in the services while ensuring Essex residents get good value for money.

“Both services have identified ways to save money and be more efficient without reducing the number of officers, firefighters, staff or their overall capability. Both services have identified combined savings of £10.4 million in the year 2024/25.

The PFCC budget means a Band D Council Taxpayer will pay an extra £12.96 per year for policing and an extra £2.34 a year for fire and rescue services – a combined increase of less than £1.28 per month or 30p a week.

(£12.96 + £2.34 = £15.30. £15.30 divided by 12 months = £1.275. £15.30 divided by 52 weeks = approximately 30p a week)

Essex Police precept

The PFCC is increasing the police precept by 5.55 per cent, equivalent to an increase of £12.96 a year, from £233.46 to £246.42 for a Band D property, raising an additional £8.695 million of council tax receipts.

Roger Hirst said: “It is clear from my public engagements, our independent public survey, the recent precept survey, and feedback from partners across Essex that the public want to see further reductions in crime. They also want to see investment in:

  • tackling gang and drug related violence,
  • combating serious and organised crime, 
  • improved local neighbourhood policing to target burglary and vehicle theft, 
  • bringing down anti-social behaviour, 
  • reducing violence against women and girls and 
  • breaking the cycle of domestic abuse. 

“They want to see crime prevented, the vulnerable protected and victims supported.

“We recognise the need to deliver on the public’s desire to see further reductions in crime and the challenging financial situation many of our communities face. The budget provides a balanced and proportionate response that reflects the financial challenges we face as a society but also the importance of ensuring we deliver for the public by continuing to get crime down.”

Mr Hirst added: “To create safe and secure communities there is still more to do.

“Crime must fall further and we need to target rape and sexual assault, robbery and the surge in vehicle thefts and shoplifting.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Precept

The PFCC is increasing the Fire and Rescue precept by 2.91%, equivalent to an increase of £2.34 a year, from £80.28 to £82.62 for a Band D property, raising an additional £1.5m of council tax receipts.

This increase in the Fire and Rescue Service Precept will help the service to continue to drive forward its improvement programme which includes protection and prevention services and excellent firefighter training. The proposal will also allow the service to recruit around 150 firefighters in the next year.

Roger Hirst said: “Our Fire and Rescue Service has made strong progress in recent years, improving the training provided to firefighters, investing in protection services and preventing harm. Continuing this investment will help the Service to continue to reduce the risk to the public and property across Essex.”

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5 Comments for Harlow residents set to face another hike in police and crime part of council tax:

Luke Burton
2024-02-02 08:27:28

The catch and release method of policing and justice is not working for Harlow. The filth of the town need to be caught and ideally not released - otherwise more and more taxpayers' money is going to be spent with no reduction in harm to innocent members of the public.

Pedro
2024-02-02 08:57:09

Would this increase be necessary if we got rid of the whole PCC office and staffing, we can then revert to the Chief Constables running the police force

Guy Flegman
2024-02-02 09:00:16

Surely we should be paying less as we are receiving less service! Once again, public services being rewarded for poor performance.

Ian McNaught
2024-02-02 18:46:02

We agree with Guy Flegman , public service not fit for purpose.

Mark Gough
2024-02-06 17:37:40

Frankly Mr.Hirst is an expensive failure and getting rid of him and his minions and giving the money to the Chief Constable and the Fire Service should reduce this portion of Council Tax if anything! As for improving Community Policing which this numpty called old hat not so long ago shows how incompetent he really is! In God's name man go!!!

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