The global pandemic and struggling public services have led to communities across Essex suffering.
This is why, as Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, I will put our communities at the heart of our police and fire strategy. If we are to reduce crime and support victims better, every part of Essex needs to pull together: the police working with local councils, voluntary organisations, and residents to tackle crime at the roots, not simply clean up afterwards.
We have seen too many police station closures in Essex. This undermines the ability of the police to effectively fight crime and help their communities.
Young people have been disproportionately hit by reductions to public services. Take the attempted cuts to Essex Libraries, which Essex Liberal Democrats fought against. Cuts to youth services lead to fewer opportunities for young people, and higher anti-social behaviour levels.
It is vital that we work to ensure that fewer people end up in the criminal justice system. Two effective ways of doing this are adopting a public health first approach to tackle drug abuse and using restorative justice to intervene and divert people away from the criminal justice system at an earlier date.
As the PFCC, I will do both of these and invest the savings in police time in increasing community policing.
Our fire service plays a vital role that goes far beyond fighting fires. As the Commissioner, I will ensure fire and policing services work together, including a public education program to reduce nuisance calls.
Finally, I recognise that our police officers and firefighters have some of the toughest jobs in public service and will ensure they have the training and support needed to tackle the challenges they face every day.
Prepared by Becky Carr, 13a Beehive Works, Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, CM2 9JY
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