ESSEX’S police force will be “the strongest it has ever been” following a major Government cash injection, according to the man in charge of Essex Police.

The Home Office has announced police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst will have a share of a nationwide fund of up £15.2 billion fund for 2020/21 in order to strengthen resources in Essex.

The core resource grant has increased by more than £1.1billion with commissioners now given wider scope to increase the policing section of council tax.

Mr Hirst said “This marks one of the largest ever investments in policing nationally by central government and will kick start the biggest recruitment of officers in recent times.

“The extra funding will allow forces such as Essex to recruit and sustain hundreds of extra officers and provide local forces the resources required to invest in those officers, their training and help them to get the technology and support they need.

“I have been working closely with the Government for a number of years to secure a sustainable funding settlement.

“The announcement is recognition they have been listening to the challenges faced by policing, but also have seen the difference forces can make in tackling some of the significant challenges in our communities especially around violence, gangs and reducing crime.”

“As we continue to work with the government on the future funding of policing and in particular the long term funding set out through the Comprehensive Spending Review, I look forward to continuing the strong,

Over the past two years, Mr Hirst has upped council tax in order to pay for 368 extra officers who are already in place.

Another 135 will be in situ by March 2021 meaning 500 extra officers compared to 2016.

He added: “The announcement is a significant step towards achieving the Government’s aim of recruiting 20,000 extra officers nationally.

“Over the next three years, this will make Essex Police the largest and strongest it has ever been.

“In Essex we saw the need for extra officers early and acted quickly so our recruitment programme is well underway and delivering large numbers of high quality new recruits.

“This early start means we are ahead of other areas in the country and will be able to access the extra funding announced today but ring fenced until forces meet targets.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This government is delivering on the people’s priorities by giving policing the biggest funding increase in a decade.

“It will mean more officers tackling the crime blighting our streets, so people can feel safe in their communities.

“The police must now make full use of this significant investment to deliver for the public.”