500 police officers will be put back on the streets in a major restructure

New approach – Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh

New approach – Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh

First published in News

IN a major restructure of Essex Police, 500 officers will be moved out of central hubs and specialist teams and back into the community.

Sixty posts are being cut, mainly from road policing and firearms units, as part of the changes introduced to save £3million a year.

Essex Police are having to make cuts after Government grants were reduced.

They have to work with £78million less a year by 2016 than they had in 2010.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “For me it is about locally based, locally accountable, locally led officers, PCSOs and staff delivering across a range of response, investigation and engagement responsibilities.”

The changes will be made on September 1.

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston welcomed the changes.

He said: “It is clear how highly local officers, PCSOs and police staff are valued.

“The plan will ensure there will still be neighbourhood constables and PCSOs. These neighbourhood teams will be supported by 500 more officers being moved into local policing roles, providing a real continuity of local service to victims of crime.”

Road policing will be reduced by 58 officers and staff to 103.

The firearms team will be reduced by 24 officers to 85 and only 50 officers will be retained in public order teams.

However, Mr Kavanagh reassured the public safety will not be put at risk.

He said: “The force retains the right level of resourcing in these important specialist areas. I am committed to policing our road network and the essential task of working with partner agencies and drivers to improve safety.

“We also maintain the capability to rapidly respond to incidents involving firearms.”

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HUNDREDS MORE JOBS FACE AXE

HUNDREDS of jobs will be cut at Essex Police and more stations will close in the next two years.

Another 200 officers, 100 PCSOs and hundreds of police staff positions are at risk due to Government cuts.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh has not yet revealed which stations will be next on the growing list of closures, or where specific officer cuts will come from.

He said: “The number of officers is going to reduce.

“Over the next three years we expect it to go to 3,000 on top of previous reductions.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said: “We have to find 3.5 per cent cuts a year which is eight to nine million pounds a year.”

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