Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson
26 June 2012, 06:00
Nine police stations are close - and nine other building used by Essex police are to go - as the force attempts to make savings of more than £42 million a year by 2014/2015.
It's thought the sale of these buildings, which is expected to be completed by 2013, will help the force save between £4-5 million.
The police stations affected involve: Brightlingsea, Great Yeldham, Hatfield Heath, Mistley, Moulsham Lodge, Rochford, South Benfleet, Stansted Mountfitchet, Walton.
The police buildings, not used as stations, which will be also sold will be in: Springfield Road, Hadleigh, Kelvedon Hatch, Pitsea, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Westcliff.
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: "These decisions are driven by the commitment to provide the most efficient and professional policing operation possible for the people of Essex.
"Faced with highly challenging budget cuts, the Essex Police Authority and the force have had to make some very tough decisions. Ultimately, we do not believe that lighting, heating and maintaining a building that is under utilised is the best use of Essex taxpayers' money.
"Neighbourhood policing teams will continue to be based in local areas, holding beat surgeries, attending local meetings and finding solutions to local problems. This will not change. What will change is that, on occasions, some neighbourhood policing teams will be based in buildings we share with partners, such as Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
"Through our recent restructuring programme and new shift patterns, Essex Police is maximising the number of officers available to investigate crime, police the streets and respond to emergency incidents. Among other recent changes, we have introduced a new model of borderless policing, supported by new resource tracking software in our Force Control Room.
"We are also installing Mobile Data Terminals in our police vehicles which allow officers to stay out on patrol for longer, rather than returning to police stations to complete administrative tasks. These developments provide the Force Control Room operators with fast time information to locate and deploy police officers and PCSOs quickly and efficiently.
"We are faced with a balancing act between managing a reducing budget and spreading our resources across a range of necessary activities. Essex Police remains committed and focused on keeping all our communities safe and secure."