James Duddridge's Southend Standard column: Friday 30th August 2019
Whether we are shopping in Southend High Street, in our homes or walking the dog along the seafront we all want to feel safe in our day-to-day lives. Policing is often an issue that comes up on the doorstep and I am pleased to report that things are moving in the right direction.
By the end of this year, Essex Police will have recruited an extra 368 police officers since the start of 2018. This is due to a cash injection from Central Government and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst being given more powers to raise funds.
I know these extra frontline officers will be welcomed by residents and I am delighted to see some of these new resources are already being put to good use. Last month, the force launched specialist Town Centre teams across the county, with five constables and a sergeant dedicated to Southend alone.
The team’s role will be to tackle the most prominent issues in our town centre such as anti-social behaviour and drug-dealing. They will also support our night time economy, helping bars and nightclubs to ensure punters are able to enjoy a safe night out in Southend.
Not only will this mean more police on the streets, the team will play a strong part in our community, working diligently with other organisations and local charities such as HARP to assist their work in tackling homelessness.
These additions plus an upgrade to the town’s CCTV and Boris Johnson’s commitment to recruit 20,000 extra officers nationwide show a significant investment in keeping our streets safe and one I strongly support.
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