The proposed changes to local policing and the estate
When I was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner I knew the role would be challenging and involve difficult decisions. These two aspects have come together this week in stark terms as the Chief Constable and I have proposed changes that we believe are necessary to respond to today’s challenges and to ensure Essex Police is fit for the future.
It is right and important to make the estate fit for purpose. But the proposed loss of front counter posts associated with those changes, and the equally painful proposal to dramatically reduce the number of PCSOs across the county, has dominated my thinking.
I have so enjoyed getting to know and talk to many PCSOs and front counter staff when I have been out and about. Now contemplating saying good bye to many of them is sad for me. But I recognise that is nothing to what those directly affected by the changes, and their colleagues will be thinking.
I hope everyone will know that the Chief Constable and his team will only have proposed these local policing changes after the most careful thought, and because we simply have to make savings to balance the books next year.
I want to say thank you for the dignity with which everyone has responded to the news and to thank those affected for the continuing commitment which I just know everyone will continue to display despite the uncertainty and concern.
My thoughts really are with those worrying about the future. I will do all I can to ensure Essex Police offers all possible support to those most directly affected by these changes.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex