Essex Police announce plans to axe marine unit and reduce dog unit (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Essex Police announce plans to axe marine unit and reduce dog unit
11:04am Monday 9th December 2013 in News
ESSEX Police is axing its marine unit and cutting the number of police dogs.
The force has to find ways of continuing with about £78million less a year by 2016.
All dog units and kennels in the county will be centralised at Sandon with the number of dogs cut from 52 to 40.
Some officers will be redeployed and some handlers retired and given the chance to take the dogs as pets.
No dogs will be killed.
The marine unit, based in Burnham, will be disbanded.
Some of the marine officers will transfer to Special Branch but, where necessary, may be called to assist at incidents in Essex.
PCSOs with the team will be redeployed.
The boats and jet skis are likely to be sold although some equipment may be retained.
During the first round of cuts the mounted unit was axed, stations were closed and about 1,100 staff, including 400 officer posts, were slashed as the whole force was restructured.
After coming up with plans to cope with £42million cuts the Government then announced another £36million had to be saved.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "We will review every area of our business to ensure we provide the best possible and most cost effective policing for the communities of Essex.
"We need to be realistic about the services we can continue to deliver in the current economic climate – and focussing on our priorities for local communities and minimising threat, harm and risk means that we have had to re-evaluate some of our more specialist areas of operations.
"Over the next few months we will restructure the teams delivering our marine and dog capability and in doing so make savings of over £750,000 a year."
The force has already moved its CID teams back into local policing areas combining them into joint neighbourhood teams.
It is hoped new technology will help save time and limit the impact of the extra job cuts which are expected.
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