ABOUT one in eight police officers in Essex are classed as being “visible and available”, according to new figures released.

Officers and PCSOs in Essex cost the taxpayer the least out of the entire south of England but the vast majority are no longer out on the beat.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance looked into all police forces nationwide and revealed the public gets 126 PCs and PCSOs for every £10million spent in Essex.

The most is 139 in Northumbria with the least 86 in London.

It costs £79,408 per PCSO or police officer in Essex based on figures from Her Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

But while they cost less on the wallets there are also less on patrol with seven out of eight carrying out other duties.

It means, for example, out of the 3,802 in Essex at the start of 2012 only 468 would be the traditional bobby on the beat.

And this number will fall further with budget cuts and neighbourhood and investigative teams being combined again.

A spokesman for Essex Police directed any comments to the police and crime commissioner who is currently away on holiday.