Essex Police announce plans to axe marine unit and reduce dog unit

Echo: Marine unit axed Marine unit axed

ESSEX Police is axing its marine unit and cutting the number of police dogs.

The force has to find ways of continuing with about £78million less a year by 2016.

All dog units and kennels in the county will be centralised at Sandon with the number of dogs cut from 52 to 40.

Some officers will be redeployed and some handlers retired and given the chance to take the dogs as pets.

No dogs will be killed.

The marine unit, based in Burnham, will be disbanded.

Some of the marine officers will transfer to Special Branch but, where necessary, may be called to assist at incidents in Essex.

PCSOs with the team will be redeployed.

The boats and jet skis are likely to be sold although some equipment may be retained.

 During the first round of cuts the mounted unit was axed, stations were closed and about 1,100 staff, including 400 officer posts, were slashed as the whole force was restructured.

After coming up with plans to cope with £42million cuts the Government then announced another £36million had to be saved.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "We will review every area of our business to ensure we provide the best possible and most cost effective policing for the communities of Essex.

"We need to be realistic about the services we can continue to deliver in the current economic climate – and focussing on our priorities for local communities and minimising threat, harm and risk means that we have had to re-evaluate some of our more specialist areas of operations.

"Over the next few months we will restructure the teams delivering our marine and dog capability and in doing so make savings of over £750,000 a year."

The force has already moved its CID teams back into local policing areas combining them into joint neighbourhood teams.

It is hoped new technology will help save time and limit the impact of the extra job cuts which are expected.

Comments (17)

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11:23am Mon 9 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

As the officers are not losing their jobs, the savings can only be minimal, as the dogs live with their handlers....
As the officers are not losing their jobs, the savings can only be minimal, as the dogs live with their handlers.... Nowthatsworthknowing

11:37am Mon 9 Dec 13

RonnieClegg says...

Genius. No marine unit in the county with one of the longest coastlines in England. Coupled with the cut backs in the Coastguard service it's a very poor outlook for our safety and security.
Genius. No marine unit in the county with one of the longest coastlines in England. Coupled with the cut backs in the Coastguard service it's a very poor outlook for our safety and security. RonnieClegg

11:47am Mon 9 Dec 13

Nebs says...

This is great news (if you are a burglar, or drug dealer, or other miscreant).
This is great news (if you are a burglar, or drug dealer, or other miscreant). Nebs

11:49am Mon 9 Dec 13

RonnieClegg says...

Probably better news if you want to smuggle drugs or ignore speed limits on your jet ski...
Probably better news if you want to smuggle drugs or ignore speed limits on your jet ski... RonnieClegg

12:36pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Spirit13 says...

How about keep the dogs and if possible increase their numbers and get rid of that blasted helicopter. "A search was made by the force helicopter but no suspect was found". Who the hell are they going to guide in because there's no one left. Surely it can only deal with 1 incident at a time whereas dogs can cover several. Must be a good idea for the burglars then ...... do your stuff and then jump in the water.
How about keep the dogs and if possible increase their numbers and get rid of that blasted helicopter. "A search was made by the force helicopter but no suspect was found". Who the hell are they going to guide in because there's no one left. Surely it can only deal with 1 incident at a time whereas dogs can cover several. Must be a good idea for the burglars then ...... do your stuff and then jump in the water. Spirit13

12:49pm Mon 9 Dec 13

pembury53 says...

people will moan wherever the cuts are made, but given the number of violent robberies in southend / westcliff currently, these are quite sensible measures by essex police...... the true cost of the governments 'austerity plan' is yet to be realised and we will have to accept even more cuts in future...... if you disagree with these cuts, which other police operations would you suggest are trimmed or axed ?
people will moan wherever the cuts are made, but given the number of violent robberies in southend / westcliff currently, these are quite sensible measures by essex police...... the true cost of the governments 'austerity plan' is yet to be realised and we will have to accept even more cuts in future...... if you disagree with these cuts, which other police operations would you suggest are trimmed or axed ? pembury53

12:57pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Nebs says...

pembury53 wrote:
people will moan wherever the cuts are made, but given the number of violent robberies in southend / westcliff currently, these are quite sensible measures by essex police...... the true cost of the governments 'austerity plan' is yet to be realised and we will have to accept even more cuts in future...... if you disagree with these cuts, which other police operations would you suggest are trimmed or axed ?
I'd suggest we all pay a bit more, and have more police on the streets.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: people will moan wherever the cuts are made, but given the number of violent robberies in southend / westcliff currently, these are quite sensible measures by essex police...... the true cost of the governments 'austerity plan' is yet to be realised and we will have to accept even more cuts in future...... if you disagree with these cuts, which other police operations would you suggest are trimmed or axed ?[/p][/quote]I'd suggest we all pay a bit more, and have more police on the streets. Nebs

1:16pm Mon 9 Dec 13

RonnieClegg says...

I do disagree with the marine unit being cut. I accept that in other areas numbers have been cut and cracks are having to be papered over - but after this there will be no marine policing, no expert knowledge, nothing. How useful would the marine unit have been if last week's floods had been more serious? Who will investigate marine thefts now? What are they going to chase speeding/dangerous power boats in - a panda car?
I do disagree with the marine unit being cut. I accept that in other areas numbers have been cut and cracks are having to be papered over - but after this there will be no marine policing, no expert knowledge, nothing. How useful would the marine unit have been if last week's floods had been more serious? Who will investigate marine thefts now? What are they going to chase speeding/dangerous power boats in - a panda car? RonnieClegg

1:17pm Mon 9 Dec 13

OMPITA [Intl] says...

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Cease spending on prisons! Plough the savings back into maintaining a larger - not smaller - police force (yes I do mean 'Force' not 'Service').

Sub contract the care and custodianship of prisoners offshore to countries that will do it for a miniscule fraction of what we currently waste on it. That way we could afford to have low life hard bitten criminals actually serve out their full sentences for once. You never know it even put them off reoffending!

I'm sure that there are some third world counties (West African for example) that would jump at the chance of earning a bit of additional revenue by taking on board such a task on our behalf! Why indeed, only last week the Ghana News Media reported that the country’s prison service is likely to struggle to feed inmates because of difficulties in paying for the purchase of food and that suppliers had ceased to deliver because of non-payment for previous deliveries.

You see? We’d be helping them as well as ourselves
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Cease spending on prisons! Plough the savings back into maintaining a larger - not smaller - police force (yes I do mean 'Force' not 'Service'). Sub contract the care and custodianship of prisoners offshore to countries that will do it for a miniscule fraction of what we currently waste on it. That way we could afford to have low life hard bitten criminals actually serve out their full sentences for once. You never know it even put them off reoffending! I'm sure that there are some third world counties (West African for example) that would jump at the chance of earning a bit of additional revenue by taking on board such a task on our behalf! Why indeed, only last week the Ghana News Media reported that the country’s prison service is likely to struggle to feed inmates because of difficulties in paying for the purchase of food and that suppliers had ceased to deliver because of non-payment for previous deliveries. You see? We’d be helping them as well as ourselves OMPITA [Intl]

1:26pm Mon 9 Dec 13

pixiebell87 says...

less work for the police- not that they do their job properly anyway!
less work for the police- not that they do their job properly anyway! pixiebell87

3:12pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Linstock says...

The Marine Unit has not been cost effective for years, took them a long while to follow Suffolks lead. Upgrade the Customs vessels they could have much of the Police role.
As more is spent on hi-tech less is spent on actual policing, obvious really, the trend over the last 40 years has been to spend on toys not people.
The Force was a lot more effective when they only had radios but had lots more officers.
Justify the money wasted on Clacton Police Station.
The Marine Unit has not been cost effective for years, took them a long while to follow Suffolks lead. Upgrade the Customs vessels they could have much of the Police role. As more is spent on hi-tech less is spent on actual policing, obvious really, the trend over the last 40 years has been to spend on toys not people. The Force was a lot more effective when they only had radios but had lots more officers. Justify the money wasted on Clacton Police Station. Linstock

3:29pm Mon 9 Dec 13

tomtheDJ says...

Its getting like the USA, where a man can defend his property with or by any means available.

need I say its shoot to kill method is drastic, but will it, or does it really work.
Its getting like the USA, where a man can defend his property with or by any means available. need I say its shoot to kill method is drastic, but will it, or does it really work. tomtheDJ

3:32pm Mon 9 Dec 13

pixiebell87 says...

christmas come early for the low life scum of our community!!
christmas come early for the low life scum of our community!! pixiebell87

8:57pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Fairminded fella says...

Great, as a county we've arguably got the longest coastline in England. Obviously a marine unit is superfluous to our needs.....
Great, as a county we've arguably got the longest coastline in England. Obviously a marine unit is superfluous to our needs..... Fairminded fella

5:19pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Hockleyt Woods says...

This is the second time the Dog Unit has had the axe to it. At it's height there were 60 Police Dog teams in Essex, since 2008 this has been reduced to a centrally based unit at Sandon consisting of 40 dogs, sounds alright but once you take out the specialist drugs search and explosive search dogs, some belonging to non operational trainers and supervisors, then divide the remainder by 4 to take into account a 24 hour period, not so grand.

Instead of fielding up it 13 on a Friday and Saturday night back in the early 2000's they will be lucky to have 2 or 3 on duty at any one time for the whole of Essex.

Will the Officers expected to have any local knowledge of an area outside of Chelmsford?

Answer, they won't.

Next stop will be disbandment completely just like the Horse unit.

For all these austerity cuts you can thank the Labour Government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and add o that the greedy bankers who cause this recession.

Do yourself a favour and vote for someone other than labour any one will do even the station cat if it has not been sold off.
This is the second time the Dog Unit has had the axe to it. At it's height there were 60 Police Dog teams in Essex, since 2008 this has been reduced to a centrally based unit at Sandon consisting of 40 dogs, sounds alright but once you take out the specialist drugs search and explosive search dogs, some belonging to non operational trainers and supervisors, then divide the remainder by 4 to take into account a 24 hour period, not so grand. Instead of fielding up it 13 on a Friday and Saturday night back in the early 2000's they will be lucky to have 2 or 3 on duty at any one time for the whole of Essex. Will the Officers expected to have any local knowledge of an area outside of Chelmsford? Answer, they won't. Next stop will be disbandment completely just like the Horse unit. For all these austerity cuts you can thank the Labour Government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and add o that the greedy bankers who cause this recession. Do yourself a favour and vote for someone other than labour any one will do even the station cat if it has not been sold off. Hockleyt Woods

12:20am Sat 14 Dec 13

TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell says...

Nebs wrote:
This is great news (if you are a burglar, or drug dealer, or other miscreant).
Here Here?
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: This is great news (if you are a burglar, or drug dealer, or other miscreant).[/p][/quote]Here Here? TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell

11:15am Sat 14 Dec 13

John Vencato says...

This is the wrong thing to do here and one can say the with a capital W.
We need more police dog handler officers not less.
As for the coastal unit, "The Service" used to have a huge police motor boat launch, very much like and old RAF high speed rescue boat. This should be reinstated with full funding and the diving unit attached to it.
These implementations are crucial to the visual presence of the Service.
Police dogs are vital in the fight against drugs and the enforcement of hardened gangs of criminals.
I say from experience no criminal would stand tall against properly trained armed officers and full trained German Shepherds and their handlers.
These funding cuts must cease and be reversed to funding increases.
We should not be paying out for county hall waste and admin positions we should be paying for more police, fire and ambulance trust levies on our council charge.
Those involved please see the points in issue? Thank you
Jon Venca'to
This is the wrong thing to do here and one can say the with a capital W. We need more police dog handler officers not less. As for the coastal unit, "The Service" used to have a huge police motor boat launch, very much like and old RAF high speed rescue boat. This should be reinstated with full funding and the diving unit attached to it. These implementations are crucial to the visual presence of the Service. Police dogs are vital in the fight against drugs and the enforcement of hardened gangs of criminals. I say from experience no criminal would stand tall against properly trained armed officers and full trained German Shepherds and their handlers. These funding cuts must cease and be reversed to funding increases. We should not be paying out for county hall waste and admin positions we should be paying for more police, fire and ambulance trust levies on our council charge. Those involved please see the points in issue? Thank you Jon Venca'to John Vencato

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