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Essex crime commissioner rubbishes report proposing merged forces
5:34pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in Echo News
A NEW report into the future of policing has been criticised in Essex.
The Independent Police Commission produced a 37-point plan, under the leadership of Lord Stevens. which included plans to abolish police and crime commissioners, hold police misconduct hearings in public, increase neighbourhood policing and merge police forces.
Essex commissioner Nick Alston said: “They have been working on it for two years and it is already out of date.
“There is no evidence for the statements about police and crime commissioners, the report does not take into account what we have been doing, and some of the things in the report are already happening in Essex. I don’t know what this is based on. It does not seem to be based on facts.”
If the plans are adopted, Essex Police could be merged with other forces.
Mr Alston added: “We already have effective collaboration with Kent and police forces in the eastern region. These are unfocused thoughts. The report is rather poor and not very well considered.”
Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, agreed. He said: “If you want more police, you have to pay for them. Anybody can say we need more and I would agree, but without funding it won’t happen.”
Mr Smith claims the call for more neighbourhood police is pointless because the funds would not be made available, making it a popularity statement rather than a realistic aim.
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