Essex Police announce front office closures and changes

POLICE stations in Stansted and Hatfield Heath will lose their front counter services, while there will be a reduction in hours at Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow, it has been announced.

Essex Police has been undergoing a review of all aspects of policing and confirmed today that the service would be changed from November 28.

The aim of the review was to implement a new model of policing known as the ‘Blueprint’ in a bid to save �41m per year by 2014/15.

All 40 stations across Essex have been reviewed, with front offices at the force’s nine core stations, currently open 24 hours, to offer the service from 8am-midnight, seven days a week.

Another 16, including Saffron Walden and Dunmow, will be reduced from 8am-midnight, seven days a week, to 12noon-6pm, Monday to Saturday, while 15, including Stansted and Hatfield Heath, will be closed to the public altogether.

The force hopes the changes will save about �2.5m from its annual budget and reiterated that over 96 per cent of people in Essex would still be within 10km of a police station front counter.

Essex Police also confirmed that the changes to front counter opening times would not affect its continued use of police stations in the county.