POLICE budget cuts will have a detrimental effect on neighbourhood policing, councillors have said.

Cllr Martin Goss, Lid Dem, Mile End, said: “The police are the backbone of our support and I’m very concerned about the £63m worth of budget reduction to Essex Police.

“It will have an impact as lower crime issues will simply get ignored.”

He said community support officers have been the backbone of community liaising with the public, and the cuts will result in residents being hesitant to report crime.

The Ministry of Justice recently revealed it takes an average of 114 days to investigate crime at Essex Police.

The report reveals Essex will have lost 447 more officers by 2018/19, and this would represent a 15 per cent cut compared to the national average of six per cent.

However, about 200 more civilian workers are forecast be employed to support detectives by 2018/19.

But Cllr John Jowers, Tory, West Mersea, said: “We are the lowest funded force in the country and we can’t do a lot about it, we cannot keep up with it.

“I think Essex Police are brilliant and they are under terrible pressure, we need to raise the levy cap and raise more money for them.”