A MAJOR restructure of Essex Police will see officers returning to towns and villages.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh today announced plans to move 500 officers out of central hubs and specialist teams and into specific communities.

60 police officer posts are being cut, mainly from road policing and firearms units, as part of the plans to save £3million.

Essex Police is having to make cuts after Government grants were reduced.

It has to work with £78million less a year by 2016 than it had in 2010.

Mr Kavanagh said: "I believe the public want policing delivered locally.

"For me it is about locally based, locally accountable, locally led officers, PCSOs and staff delivering across a range of response, investigation and engagement responsibilities."

The changes will be made on September 1.

The force is also launching a recruitment drive tomorrow as it expects to have more vacancies than positions lost.


Mr Kavanagh added: "I have to think carefully about how resources are balanced across the county.

"I also have to ensure that, operating within a reduced budget, we continue to deliver effective policing to all our communities."

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston welcomed the changes.

He said: "It is clear how highly local officers, PCSOs and police staff are valued.

"The Chief’s plan will ensure that there will still be neighbourhood constables and PCSOs.

"Crucially though, these neighbourhood teams will be supported by 500 more officers being moved into local policing roles, providing a real continuity of local service to victims of crime."

See the full story in tomorrow's newspaper.