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Essex Police 2021/22

The force says...

Essex covers 1,417 square miles, has a 400-mile coastline and borders the counties of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and four London Boroughs. Three quarters of the county is agricultural, intersected by several significant urban areas, including two cities of Chelmsford and Southend.

The population of Essex is 1.86 million with 7.5% of residents of minority ethnic origin. Incorporating a county council, twelve districts and two unitary authorities, a strategic road network that includes the M25, M11, A12 and A13, Stansted airport – the UK’s fourth busiest and the London Gateway port, Essex is a diverse county to police.

Essex has 1.84 officers per 1,000 head of population and responded to over 398,000 incidents in year ending December 2021. There is high and increasing demand for policing services due not only to the volume of crime and incidents, but their severity and increasing complexity.

Crime has reduced in Essex compared to pre-pandemic levels with a 1.2% reduction (2,061 fewer) year ending May 2022 compared to the 12 months to December 2019. A strong focus on crime prevention means crime has not increased in 2022 as quickly as expected and is not forecast to exceed 2019 volumes until 2023.

The Force is one of the most efficient nationally with one of the lowest spends per head of population in the UK and almost two thirds of the budget allocated to front line policing. Proximity to London brings challenges both in terms of crime and recruitment and retention due to the high cost of living for officers and staff.

Essex Police has an ambitious transformation programme underpinned by evidence based review and adoption of innovative approaches. Investing in the skills necessary to investigate modern crimes and safeguard individuals and communities in an increasingly digital world is a key part of our transformation plan.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Essex Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.