There are more police officers on the streets in Maldon and South Woodham Ferrers that last year.

Since last March, Essex Police have recruited almost 30 new dedicated town centre policing teams across the county.

Both Maldon and South Woodham Ferrers have benefited from having two new officers each placed in their town centres.

There are now 218 more officers in varying stages of their training, bringing the number of police officers in the county to 3,046.

This time last year there were 2,950 officers in the force.

The latest uplift in officer numbers was made possible by an increase in the policing precept part of council tax last year and the focus for the new officers will be to provide visible local policing in all of our communities.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “This is good news for the county. Essex Police is a good force, and an ambitious one and has faced some of the challenges of the last few years head on.

“Now is our time to grow our establishment once more and this has been made possible through increasing the money Essex residents are contributing via the policing precept of the council tax.

“My focus for where these officers will be placed sits within the principles of providing visible policing, protecting the vulnerable, providing a better service to victims and tackling all elements of violence.

“I am really looking forward to watching my force grow, both in officer and staff numbers but also in the areas of technology as we do more to ensure we deliver the best service we can to all our communities.”