§ Ms Blears
The deployment of officers to basic command units and to other specialist units in Essex police is an operational matter for the Chief Constable (Mr. David Stevens QPM).
Information on police officer numbers for each Basic Command Units is only available for March 2002 and 2003 and is set out in the table. 790W
Southend basic command unit Basic command unit strength 31 March 2002 1267 1267 31 March 2003 2273 2273
1.HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Annual Statistical Return for March 200
2.Research, Development and Statistical Directorate (RDS).Details for BCU strength in Essex police can be found on the RDS pages of the Home Office website.
§ Ms Blears
It is for the Chief Constable (Mr. David Stevens QPM), in consultation with the Essex Police Authority, to determine police officer numbers subject to the budget set by his authority.
At the end of August 2003 Essex Police had record strength of 3,063, which is 102 more officers than in March 1997. I understand that Essex Police expect strength to he 3,081 by March this year. In addition Essex Police plan to have 55 Community Support Officers by 31 March 2004.
We have supported increases in police strength through the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF). Essex Police was allocated 197 CFF recruits over the three years to March 2003 fully funded by the Home Office. Continuation funding will continue for these posts. In addition Essex was allocated a further 10 CFF posts for 2003–04 funded at the rate of 75 per cent. For 2004–05 it is proposed that funding for these posts will be at the rate of 60 per cent.
Police staff make an important contribution to policing of Essex as many have been used to free police officers for operational duties. Between March 1997 and March 2003 police staff strength in Essex increased by 483 to 1,682.