Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals could soon become one under plans to merge.
Fall In Child Arrests In Essex
Latest figures show the number of children arrested in Essex has dropped by more than 60% over the last five years.
Figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveal the number of arrests in Essex dropped from 10,763 in 2008 to 3,931 in 2013.
Police services across the country have reviewed their arrest procedures and policies as a result of the charity's engagement with them.
However, despite this positive trend, child arrests remain all too common nationwide - a child was arrested every four minutes in England and Wales in 2013.
Last year, police in England and Wales made 129,274 arrests of children aged 17 and under. These included 1,107 arrests of children who were aged 10 or 11, meaning that on average three primary school-age children were arrested every day.
In 2013 the total number of child arrests was as high as 318,053 - equivalent to an arrest every 99 seconds.
In total, police made more than 1.3million arrests of children between January 2008 and December 2013.
Child arrest figures for Essex:
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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