ESSEX Police will be closing the Marine Unit, but the officers and PCSOs who are currently part of that team will continue, in their new roles, to provide specialist knowledge and expertise in dealing with marine incidents.
Some of the vessels currently used by the Marine Unit may be sold, but the force will still have access to vessels – either directly owned or hired as necessary.
Meticulous planning and excellent partnership working delivered a successful operation to keep our county safe during the tidal surges last week. Even after these changes, I am confident that Essex Police will retain the capability, working with partner agencies, to manage marine incidents.
The force is faced with the challenge of operating with a budget reduced by around £36 million by March 2017, and the changes announced by Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh are predicted to save around £750,000. I regard it as very important that Essex Police retains a dedicated dogs section and marine expertise within the force.