New town centre teams police teams have been announced after an increase in council tax funding.

Loughton, Waltham Abbey and Harlow will make up 23 new Town Centre Teams which are set to be in operation by this summer.

The additional funding will also be invested in strengthen Essex Police’s establishment and bring officer numbers up to 3,218.

Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “The creation of these new Town Centre Teams is just one of the ways Essex Police will be growing this year.

“The towns benefitting from a new team have been identified through careful analysis of reported crime and anti-social behaviour in each area along with the number of residents and businesses in each town.

“This has enabled us to prioritise the areas we think will benefit most from a team dedicated to the town or city centre.

“We’re lucky in Essex that we already live in a really safe county and this development can only make it safer.”

The Town Centre Teams will be managed by a sergeant within existing Community Policing Teams (CPT’s) building on knowledge within their area.

Their focus will be to provide a visible policing presence and working closely with partners, businesses and retailers to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

Essex Police said there will be a phased delivery of communications as plans are finalised for the growth in several key areas.

Councillor Sam Kane commented: “I am delighted to see the PFCC is responding to our residents calls for increased visible police presence in our towns.

“The additional 215 officers across Essex, combined with the 150-officer intake last year sees our local Police force getting back to the strength residents demand.

“The new Town Centre Teams will provide visible reassurance to residents, working closely with local partners to curtail the activities of repeat offenders and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Other towns included are Colchester, Basildon, Billericay, Braintree, Brentwood, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Clacton, Harwich, Maldon, Rayleigh, Rochford, Saffron Walden, Southend, South Woodham Ferrers, Stanford-le-Hope, Wickford and Witham.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “People across the county have been telling me that they want more police officers and that they were prepared to pay more to get them.

“The increase in officers will make a real difference to our towns and communities. Our vision for Essex is that safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build success and wellbeing for all. One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is more local, visible and accessible policing.

“This boost in resource will make a huge difference to that for the people of Essex.”