Police say they're doing well despite £40million budget cuts

Southend Standard: Police say they're doing well despite £40million budget cuts Police say they're doing well despite £40million budget cuts

MORE than £40million of cuts to Essex Police’s budget have been good for the force, according to Southend’s district commander.

Temporary Chief Insp Matt Bennett said the £44million cut in Government funding over the last four years had hit an already lean force hard – cutting almost 400 officers, 500 support staff and 100 PCSOs – and that a further £18million from April to March 2016 would also be challenging.

However, he said on the whole the experience had been a positive one.

Mr Bennett said: “Essex Police have one of the lowest council tax precepts in the country so we’ve always been good value for money for the Essex taxpayer.

“But that meant we were hit hard by the cut in government funding.

“It’s amazing what you can find and save on when you have to though. Many of the subsequent efficiencies have been through investing in technology that just wasn’t available in the past.

“It’s forced us to do better with less and it’s demonstrated to us we can do that little bit more. It doesn’t take a lot but, collectively, when every officer is increasing their presence in the community by as little as 15 minutes, it yields results.”

However, he said there were inevitable casualties of the funding cut and asked for the public’s support.

He added: “The downside is some things will have to give.

What we ask is that the public support what we are doing and try to understand these are difficult times, but we are doing our best to be visible with fewer people.”

Mr Bennett’s comments come as the force announced this week it is centralising its dog units and disbanding the Burnham-based marine unit.

The proposals are expected to save about £750,000 a year.

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston says an initial analysis of the next round of cuts would lead to efficiency savings of about £8million in 2014/15 and a further £10million in 2015/16.

However, Mr Bennett said he was confident the force would find a way to maintain its standards with less cash.

He said: “I’m concerned, but I was concerned about the first spending review and we’ve come through it really well. We’re can-do people who are at our best when we’re faced with problems, because we’re problem-solvers by nature – history has shown that.”

Comments (10)

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4:34pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Minceir. says...

I believe Essex Police Constabulary as was) has for many years been a frugally run service. Sir John Nightingale, I've heard said, earned his knighthood off the back of his budgeting.

I'm all in favour of good housekeeping and getting value for money from our public services but are we really getting value for money from an underfunded police service?

I have had a number of experiences of Essex Police as a victim of crime. In the 70s and 80s I believe they did a passable or better job. My latter experiences in the late 90s and very early in the naughty noughties didn't fill me with confidence and they were well before the recent cuts were made. My guess is that the officer quoted is talking up the service as it would be a brave officer (ie one with no eye on advancement) who told a different story.
I believe Essex Police Constabulary as was) has for many years been a frugally run service. Sir John Nightingale, I've heard said, earned his knighthood off the back of his budgeting. I'm all in favour of good housekeeping and getting value for money from our public services but are we really getting value for money from an underfunded police service? I have had a number of experiences of Essex Police as a victim of crime. In the 70s and 80s I believe they did a passable or better job. My latter experiences in the late 90s and very early in the naughty noughties didn't fill me with confidence and they were well before the recent cuts were made. My guess is that the officer quoted is talking up the service as it would be a brave officer (ie one with no eye on advancement) who told a different story. Minceir.

6:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Complete_Nutter says...

F#ck the police!
F#ck the police! Complete_Nutter

6:46pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Tich25 says...

Of course the Police say they are doing well when what was a small crime isnt any more and cautions are easier to hand out with less time spent on dealing with the crime which is cost cutting. The CPS dont help either by doubting the Police so letting criminals off as the time taken costs too much
Of course the Police say they are doing well when what was a small crime isnt any more and cautions are easier to hand out with less time spent on dealing with the crime which is cost cutting. The CPS dont help either by doubting the Police so letting criminals off as the time taken costs too much Tich25

7:49pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Dan-Hockley says...

I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate.

I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it.
I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate. I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it. Dan-Hockley

8:48pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Complete_Nutter says...

Dan-Hockley wrote:
I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate.

I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it.
Too busy catching speeding motorists or eating doughnuts at the nick. Unfortunately that's what our police force has become.
[quote][p][bold]Dan-Hockley[/bold] wrote: I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate. I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it.[/p][/quote]Too busy catching speeding motorists or eating doughnuts at the nick. Unfortunately that's what our police force has become. Complete_Nutter

9:02pm Thu 12 Dec 13

jolllyboy says...

Doing so well that crime in southend has risen so much we dont like to go out.
Doing so well that crime in southend has risen so much we dont like to go out. jolllyboy

9:58pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

In an age of austerity it's right they should cut costs.
In an age of austerity it's right they should cut costs. Jack222

11:40pm Thu 12 Dec 13

iain beag says...

Jack222 wrote:
In an age of austerity it's right they should cut costs.
I'd rather they cut crime.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: In an age of austerity it's right they should cut costs.[/p][/quote]I'd rather they cut crime. iain beag

8:38am Fri 13 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

But are you prepared to pay more in council tax? I'm not. The amount going to them is consistently above inflation whilst all our pay is consistently below inflation...
But are you prepared to pay more in council tax? I'm not. The amount going to them is consistently above inflation whilst all our pay is consistently below inflation... Jack222

9:07am Fri 13 Dec 13

OMPITA [Intl] says...

Dan-Hockley wrote:
I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate.

I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it.
Oops! Be careful Dan.

You can’t say WPC anymore!

I used the term in responding to a story entitled ‘Transsexual Southend PC suing Essex Police’ last October.

I had my ears well and truly pulled by ‘Self Rightous Be Thankful’ when he - or she (I assume it's till OK to say 'she'?) jumped in nudged me back onto the straight and narrow path of the politically correct minions.

Police Officer if you please! - "Or else oi shall 'ave to take yor name 'n address"
[quote][p][bold]Dan-Hockley[/bold] wrote: I do struggle to see how the police can say they are doing well, when following my burglary last Christmas, it took them 4 days to come and take a statement. Worse still was the fact that one of the items had a fps-locater installed and I knew within 24 hours of the burglary where the items were. When I told the police this, the WPC who eventually came to take a statement told me that they were too understaffed to investigate. I'm sure the cost cutting has resulted in operational efficiencies, but in terms of actual policing, investigating and catching criminals I really don't see it.[/p][/quote]Oops! Be careful Dan. You can’t say WPC anymore! I used the term in responding to a story entitled ‘Transsexual Southend PC suing Essex Police’ last October. I had my ears well and truly pulled by ‘Self Rightous Be Thankful’ when he - or she (I assume it's till OK to say 'she'?) jumped in nudged me back onto the straight and narrow path of the politically correct minions. Police Officer if you please! - "Or else oi shall 'ave to take yor name 'n address" OMPITA [Intl]

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