Essex Police fill budget gap with more fines

Police in Essex will have to make devastating cuts of 50million over the next four years as part of the Govern-ments spending review. The figure is 5million more than Essex Polices Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle predicted the force would have to slash when he spoke on the issue earlier this year.
The saving the Essex constabulary will have to make equates to the salaries of 19,230 frontline police constables. 

The police budget in Essex will be cut from the current 267million to 217million by 2014/15. 
The force has yet to announce how it will make the savings. Andy Bliss, Essex Polices deputy chief constable, said it was inevitable jobs will be axed. He said: We will study these figures in order to understand the exact consequences for the Essex Police budget. Together with the Essex Police Authority we will tailor our plans for savings to fit with the budget we are given. 

The Chief Constable has said before we will have to make major changes to the way we organise policing in the coming years. 

As more than 80 per cent of our budget is spent on officer and support staff salaries, there will inevitably be less staff employed by us in a climate of tighter budgets. 

We are currently working on a completely new blueprint for policing and are taking the opportunity to fundamentally re-design all aspects of how we deliver our services. 

Mr Bliss said although the Essex force had saved 17million in two years, it would continue to share resources with neighbouring Kent Police. He said the force would ensure it maintained a visible and accessible presence. 

Essex Police has already ditched plans to recruit 600 new bobbies for the countys streets. 
Some towns in the county have begun to reduce the opening hours of police stations, while other measures, such as reducing overtime, not filling officer vacancies and reducing the number of squad cars, could be on the cards. 

Essex Police has set up a reform programme to look at how the force can best meet the budget cuts. 

ESSEX Police are preparing to cut staffing to save 50m by 2014. Essex Police logoThe force said that although final figures would not be confirmed until the end of next month at the earliest, significant savings would be necessary.
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Bliss said: We will now study these figures in order to understand the exact consequences for the Essex Police force budget.

Together with the Essex Police Authority, we will tailor our plans for savings to fit with the budget we are given.

The chief constable has said before that we will have to make major changes to the way that we organise policing in Essex in the coming years.

As more than 80 per cent of our budget is spent on officer and support staff salaries, there will inevitably be fewer staff employed by us as we move forward to work in a climate of tighter budgets.

We are working on a completely new blueprint for policing and are taking the opportunity fundamentally to redesign all aspects of how we deliver our services.

Mr Bliss added that although savings of 17m had been made in the past two years, there was scope to reduce spending further without affecting the high standards of policing.

Sharing the costs of services by working closely with other forces, particularly Kent, was already reaping rewards and there was potential for other collaborative work.

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