Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals could soon become one under plans to merge.
Essex Police Cuts Revealed
Government cuts means Essex will lose around one in ten officers as the force tries to save £41million by 2014.
In real terms that means a reduction of around 388 police officers (saving £17million) as well as around 100 fewer PCSOs and about 600 fewer police staff (together saving around £14million).
A further £10million will be saved from other non-pay costs including uniform and transport.
With a future budget of £228million a year, the force plans to improve productivity and increase availability whilst delivering a high standard of policing.
Among the changes:
- More flexible policing by removing traditional boundaries allowing the nearest response car to get to an emergency call.
- New investigation teams will deal with cases leaving response officers to deal solely with responding to emergencies.
- More local neighbourhood officers. Numbers will rise by 55 from 472 currently to 527 by 2014.
- The creation of a new 'community safety unit' in each district.
- A review of front counter services means we'll see a reduction in opening times for you to pop into your local station to report crimes - there is also a 'high' chance some will have to close.
Technology is also expected to play a big part in how the force moves forward - so we could very well see officers on the beat with something like an i-Pad in future!
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle has told Heart: "These are the most significant changes to policing in peacetime. Essex is one of the safest counties in the country and we want to keep it that way, but budget cuts mean there has to be substantial reorganisation in the force."
Two fairground workers have pleaded not guilty to charges they face over the death of a school girl on a bouncy castle in Essex.
An aircraft hangar has been damaged in a blaze at Southend Airport.
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to tell Essex County Council whether they can access superfast broadband.
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