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Essex: Police on track to make £42m savings
2:50pm Monday 2nd July 2012 in Halstead
Essex Police is on track to make £42 million in savings, according to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
The force has to find the savings by 2014/15 having already saved £16m by December 2011.
Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said: "Essex Police will continue to deploy our resources intelligently and strategically to keep our communities safe and secure.
"By managing and planning our budget with great care, the force is able to continue to invest in new technology, such as mobile data terminals in our police vehicles, which will allow officers to stay out on patrol for longer, rather than returning to police stations to complete administrative tasks.
"During a period of unprecedented change, Essex Police will continue to evolve as a modern, highly professional, force, increasing the proportion of our police officers in frontline roles from 82 percent to 91 percent. The commitment to keep the people of our county safe is at the heart of everything we do.”
Immediately after the cuts were made crime rose across the county despite Essex already having a crime rate above target.
However in the past three months the rate has started to fall again.
Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Eastern region, said: “Essex Police has a good track record of bringing down costs while increasing its efficiency and effectiveness; and this has stood the force in good stead as it works to address its financial challenge.
“It has put in place a comprehensive change programme to manage the reductions in its budget, and as a result is in a good position to achieve their savings target by March 2015.
"Like other forces, Essex Police is reducing its workforce, and this includes cutting police officer posts; but it has clear plans in place to protect frontline services. “In fact, the proportion of police officers working in frontline, crime-fighting roles by 2015 will be much higher than in other forces in England and Wales.
“This should help the force in its efforts to bring down crime and keep local communities safe.”