Essex Police chiefs agree to council tax precept increase

Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston ANL-151127-171220001
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston ANL-151127-171220001
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A proposal to increase the police precept in Essex has been agreed by police chiefs, meaning more jobs will be saved.

But despite the budget proposal being approved by the Police and Crime Panel, 160 PCSOs will still lose their jobs in the county.

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I am delighted that the panel voted by a significant majority in favour of an increase of just under 10 pence per week, £4.95 a year, in the amount of council tax used to fund policing in Essex.

“Whilst I am conscious that even small increases in tax can cause hardship, Essex Police remains significantly under-funded compared with other police forces whilst being judged efficient and providing value for money by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

“I heard very clearly from the panel the same message I have heard from meetings around the county.

“The visibility of our local police officers and PCSOs, and the ability to speak with them face to face is truly valued.

“The Chief Constable and I understand that and we will ensure that everything possible is done to maintain those local connections and, when it becomes possible, to reinvest in local policing.

“It is with great regret that, even with this increase, 160 PCSOs and 62 Customer Contact Administrators will be leaving Essex Police in the coming weeks and months.

“I thank each and every one for their professionalism and dignity.”

The budget agreement allows for the retention of 90 PCSOs in Essex Police’s new Community Policing Teams, as well as investment in other specialist policing teams.