Posts Tagged ‘Essex Police’

Cuts in government funding have led to significant changes being made to the way the Police in the UK are doing business.

Several thousand officers have been lost, civilian support staff made redundant and equipment kept beyond its original life expectancy.

Even today, those losses haven’t been enough to meet the economic cuts the services still have to make.

For example, the Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh of Essex Police has recently announced that the force still has to make savings over the next three years of around £36 million.  To help him decide how to manage this, he has a project set up called “Evolve.”  Some of their recommendations have been to close down the Force’s Mounted Branch and Marine Unit.  They are reducing the number of Dog Units they have from 52 to 40 and have redeployed many detectives from CID into Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

“So what,” you may think, has this got to do with my fiction?

Could be nothing at all.

Alternatively, it could shape your story.  Maybe the Mounted Branch or Dog Units are needed to help search an area of woodland for a missing person or a suspect.  Most Senior Investigating Officers believe that if they want/need something, it will be made available to them.  In the example above, they can’t have a horseback search if there are no horses.

Similarly, public order situations suffer from a lack of dogs and horses.  No Marine unit could make coastal crime easier to commit or exploit.

Taking detectives out of CID may lead to vulnerabilities in investigating serious crime or it may mean that you have a very experienced (low ranking) detective working at a local level and getting into local criminals’ lives (who may just be the Mr Big that is now being missed by the reduced CID).

Also don’t forget that these self and same detectives don’t just staff CID.  They are the backbone of specialist investigative units to such as Child Protection, Drugs and Organised Crime Teams and undercover operations.

How do you think your stories may be effected?

See http://www.essex.police.uk/news_features/other_stories/evolve_programme_update.aspx for more detail.

Don’t forget to get your copy of Writers, Researchers and the Police for an introductory price to the first 50 purchasers. For more information follow the image below

Writers, Researchers and the Police 2014 Cover

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Essex Police

I may be slightly colour blind and most men are but I have for a long time had difficulty accepting that whilst I was one of the boys in blue, my uniform was black trousers and black tunic.  At one time my shirt was blue to denote that I was not a senior officer but in the late 1980 all police officers in the UK began to wear white shirts not just senior officers or those serving with the Metropolitan Police.

Only now, in this latest decade has blue become more a part of the uniform colour but that all depends where about in the country one works and what one’s role is.

Most recently, officers with Essex Police took on a new look as a Force uniform review claimed it will save more than £18,000 over the next two years through changing from the traditional white cotton shirts to a new ‘wicking’ shirt, which has been introduced as part of a wider review of clothing in a move to cut costs.

A statement by Essex Police revealed that the Force spent an average of £51,500 per year on the replacement white shirts and ties between 2009 and 2011.  The new apparel will cost £84,000 to introduce and is expected to last until 2014 – the combination of fewer garments and lower prices are set to make savings of £18,200.

ACC Maurice Mason said the new shirts had been selected for comfort as well as cost. He added: “It is vital that officers have a uniform that is fit for purpose. The new shirts are durable, tough and comfortable. They will also offer better value for money.”

Officers across the country at Chief Inspector rank and above will continue to wear the white shirt and tie, as will all operational officers at ceremonial occasions or in some forces, carrying out those dastardly back office functions.

In Essex, and many other forces, police officers will wear black wicking shirts and it will be the Police and Community Support Officers that will wear blue ones.

So, once again, there’s not a lot of blue about.

Don’t forget to book your place on the Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop March 2012