‘Essex Police need more cash to fight crime’

Yhan Mabanda will not be allowed to use a bicycle for three years

Yhan Mabanda will not be allowed to use a bicycle for three years - Credit: Archant

A police chief has called for more money to be pumped into the force after a “significant” rise in reports of violent and sexual crime in Essex.

Essex Police’s police and crime commissioner Nick Alston said it had increased by almost a third.

Office of National Statistics figures showed a steady increase in reports of sexual offences in Brentwood – from 26 in 2007 to 50 last year.

Mr Alston said: “I am clear that this is in part due to increased confidence amongst the public in reporting these crimes.

“However, if people tell Essex Police about such crimes, we must ensure that the force has the resources to investigate thoroughly.”

He said Essex Police’s funding situation was “perilous” and it received less from local council tax than “almost any other force in the country”.

Mr Alston raised the policing precept – the amount of council tax paid to fund policing – to the maximum allowable amount, which was sixpence per week for a band D property, but says it’s still not enough.

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He said: “This growing imbalance will have a direct impact on the force’s effectiveness. Already, the number of PCSOs in Essex has reduced from 445 in 2010 to 280 now.”

Mr Alston added: “I will continue to make the case with the new government for the removal of the cap on any policing precept increase for 2016-17.”