Police and Crime Commissioner proposes 3.25% precept increase to fund additional police resources

From the Commissioners website:

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, has proposed a 3.25% increase in the Essex Police component of Council Tax, equivalent to £4.95 per year for a band D property….

….Mr Hirst said: “Essex police is a very lean force and have the lowest expenditure per resident of any police force in England and Wales. Essex also has one of the lowest council tax precepts for policing in the country and central government funding for policing remains constrained. My proposal to increase the Police proportion of Council Tax by £4.95 for a band D property, which is less than 10p per week, will help us respond to the changing nature of crime and provide more local, visible and accessible policing.”
The additional £3.1 million raised through this proposed increase will help fund a number of high impact programmes, including:
• The first phase of a programme to double the number of Special Constables to 700 by 2019.
• Increasing the number of police officers to 2,850, an increase of 41 officers for regular front line policing, for the Serious Crime Directorate and for additional firearm officers.
• Improving accessibility by adding 15 additional police staff in the Force Control Room to manage additional demand and improve the 101 contact service.
• Investment in dealing with digital and cybercrime and online fraud, to help tackle gangs and organised crime.
• Investment in the technology that supports the Mobile First Programme, increasing what officers can do via their smartphones on patrol, freeing up time to offer additional support to communities and improving performance management.

Business Owners Beware

We’ve been asked to alert people in the Rawreth Lane area – reportedly there were a couple of burglaries around there last night. However these were NOT burglaries of people’s homes , but of other types of premises. So if you have a business – or help manage some kind of community building –  in the Rawreth / West Rayleigh area maybe it’s probably worth being extra careful…

Teenager Charged

From the Echo tonight:

A TEENAGER will appear in court charged with criminal damage in relation to the Rochford Christmas tree being cut down just before the switch on of the Christmas lights.

The 15-year-old boy from Rochford was arrested on Tuesday (December 1) following the felling of the tree in Rochford Market Square over the weekend.

Nearby residents heard a commotion at 3am on Sunday and looked out to see teenagers with a bow saw chopping the tree about 4ft up from its base before running off.

Full report here.

The Best And the Worst Of Rochford

As reported on the BBC today:

Residents of Rochford in Essex came to the rescue of the organisers of the town’s festive lights switch-on when the Christmas tree was felled overnight by vandals.

District Council chairman Heather Glynn said she was proud of the way the town’s community spirit shone through.

The festive light celebration organiser Pete Tobit said: “It was great that so many people pitched up to help us restore the tree and for them to show such a strong community spirit.”

Chief Constable And The Police And Crime Commissioner Coming To Rayleigh

Stephen Kavanagh (the Chief Constable) and Nick Alston (the elected Police & Crime Commisioner) are coming to Sweyne Park School on November 12th from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm to answer questions from the public.

Find out more here.

This could be an interesting evening, and a chance to ask some serious questions about police cut-backs and how Essex police respond to crimes.

Rayleigh Police Station To Lose Its Front Counter As Drastic Cuts Are Proposed

From the Echo today

Essex Police proposes to retain front counters, open to the public from 9am to 5pm, in:
Saffron Walden
Operational policing bases, without front counters, will be kept in:
Canvey Island

These cuts are supposed to be implemented from April 2016.

Also from the Echo:

ESSEX Police has revealed Pitsea and Billericay police stations will close with Canvey and Rayleigh stations shutting their front counters.

At a press conference held at 1pm, the force has outlined plans for swingeing cuts to stations, PCSOs and police staff.

In a statement, Essex Police said: “The financial challenges are clear and stark. Essex Police is anticipating cuts of around 63 million by 2019-20, on an annual budget of around 262 million. Around 83 per cent of the budget is spent on the salaries of police officers, PCSOs and police staff.

“With 1 million paying for 20 police constables for a year, these financial challenges inevitably mean that Essex Polices workforce will become significantly smaller over the next few years.”

There are currently 25 police stations with front counters in Essex. The plan is to reduce this number to 10 front counters by April 2016.

Essex Police proposes to keep front counters open to the public from 9am to 5pm in south Essex:

Grays, Basildon and Southend

First thoughts are:

– does it really save much money to close the front desk at Rayleigh Police Station?

– are the reducing numbers of police in Essex (now below 3000) even more of a concern than losing some police counters?

– would most residents support an increase in the council tax we pay for the police service? A band D property currently pays 147.15 per year.

30,000 Objects ,Photos and Documents…


Have you been to the highly-rated Essex Police Museum at Chelmsford?

It is based at police headquarters in Sandford Road, Springfield, Chelmsford CM2 6DN and is open every Saturday from 10am-4pm. Admission is free and there is no need to book. This year it was runner-up in the Essex Mums awards Best Museum category….

To quote a few comments on tripadvisor:

nice and small, friendly staff and very good mix of things and considering the costs of some other museums, really good value.

I visited on a wet Saturday afternoon and I was surprised at the amount of People in the museum, it seemed quite popular. However I must say that the whole set up is very much geared up for children or maybe someone that hasn’t seen a Police Officer before. The best bit was the old case study’s that were free to take home and read at your leisure.

Found the museum on TA whilst searching for something to do on a rainy afternoon. So glad we visited.
It’s small but crammed with interesting exhibits. Me and my son’s favourites were the 70 crime scene, police phone box and the witness stand. He spent ages doing imaginative play and loved it here.
It’s free but I’d urge people to spend a couple of quid on souvenirs and put something in the donation box to keep this unique attraction running.


Essex Police To Ask Councils To Deal With Up To 97% of Anti-Social Behaviour

From the Police And Crime Commissioner’s website:

On a daily basis, only a small proportion of Anti-Social Behaviour cases are assessed as presenting a high risk or involving repeat victimisation. ACC Wortley has stated that there were around 1,500 such cases last year, or around 3 per cent of the total number of ASB incidents reported to the force. I expect Essex Police to continue to lead on these cases.

However, there are many other types of ASB incident where partner agencies, such as local authorities, should have the main responsibility in attempting to resolve the matter. Essex Police will now often refer such cases to the appropriate agency.

Rayleigh Town Centre :Three Purses Snatched; Marks And Spencer Delayed Until Early Next Year

The Echo has recently had two news stories about Rayleigh Town Centre.;

First of all, three elderly ladies have had their purses snatched, apparently from open shopping bags :

Det Sgt Lione added that they had no suspects for the purse snatchings yet, but they could be linked to previous shoplifting incidents where Eastern European suspects seem to be responsible.

She said: We have had a few incidents over the last six months and it has mostly been Eastern Europen suspects.

It does appear that Rayleigh is being targeted at the moment.

We are trying as much as possible to patrol the High Street on market days and give advice to elderly shoppers.

Purse chains and bells are available to collect at Rayleigh Police Station.

Secondly, the opening of Marks and Spencers is now scheduled for early next year:

A HUGE new M&S food store being built in Rayleigh will not open until early next year.

The new Marks and Spencer store is replacing the former Co- Op supermarket, in Eastwood Road.

However, it emerged asbestos has been found in the building, which is now being removed.

M&S has denied the discovery has delayed the opening of the store, but it does mean Rayleigh is without a town centre supermarket until next year.

A spokesman for Marks and Spencer said: We always planned to open next year and we are on track to do so.

The management of asbestos is very common in dealing with buildings built before the Nineties. It has not affected the launch date…..

A Better Winter Than The One Before

It’s great when our readers send us information, or some photos, or do some research. So we’d like to thank Vishal for doing some work on the data on the burglaries in Rayleigh. The first chart simply shows the number of burglaries each month for the last few years. The second chart shows a three month rolling average. So the figure for , say, February , is the average of January, February and March.

We can see a couple of things from these charts:

– burglaries tend to happen more often in winter!
– last winter had fewer burglaries than the year before!