Essex police chief warns austerity is the force’s toughest challenge

PUBLISHED: 17:35 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:39 27 April 2017

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh (left) with Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst. Picture ARCHANT

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh (left) with Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst. Picture ARCHANT

Archant

The chief constable of Essex Police says austerity remains the force’s biggest challenge and insists the last eight years in policing have been “the toughest since wartime”.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh marked his contract extension by going on patrol in Chelmsford. Picture: ARCHANT Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh marked his contract extension by going on patrol in Chelmsford. Picture: ARCHANT

Stephen Kavanagh was speaking as his contract was extended for a further four years by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PCC) Roger Hirst.

Mr Kavanagh, who began his police career in 1985 with the Metropolitan Police, says the financial challenge presented by government cuts has made the force analyse how it operates.

He said: “The biggest challenge for us as a force is austerity. Losing officers and closing police stations were not easy decisions to make but we had to make savings and there are still more savings to find.

“I would say the last six to eight years in policing have been the toughest since wartime, but the one thing austerity has allowed us to do is think about how we can work better with our partners.

Special Constable Billy Luetchford (far left) and Pc Peter Carter (far right) went on patrol in Chelmsford with Chief Constable Kavanagh and PCC Roger Hirst. Picture: ARCHANT Special Constable Billy Luetchford (far left) and Pc Peter Carter (far right) went on patrol in Chelmsford with Chief Constable Kavanagh and PCC Roger Hirst. Picture: ARCHANT

“Better partnerships with councils and other organisations in our approach to policing in our communities can only be a good thing.”

Mr Kavanagh, whose £200,195 annual salary will remain the same following his contract extension, says the use of technology will allow more visible policing in the county.

He said: “The use of technology with our officers now equipped with smart phones is a major step towards a more modern police force. Before, officers were expected to come back to their stations, fill out mounds of paperwork.

“With the new technology, reports and crime scene photographs can be uploaded to the system straight away, which means a much more efficient service for everyone.”

Chief Constable Kavanagh chatted with residents on patrol in Chelmsford. Picture: ARCHANT Chief Constable Kavanagh chatted with residents on patrol in Chelmsford. Picture: ARCHANT

The chief constable, who lost out to Cressida Dick for the position of head of the Met in February, says his job with Essex Police remains his career highlight.

“I am Essex born and bred and it is an absolute privilege to be chief constable for another four years. It isn’t a case of Essex being second best.

“We’ve done so much over the last four years but there is so much more to do and I want the people of Essex to have a police force they can be proud of.”

Mr Hirst said: “The chief constable has shown strong, positive leadership over the last four years and has led the service through a number of significant changes to help modernise and improve how they operate.

“This has led to better treatment for victims of crime and stronger capabilities in terms of tackling online crime and organised crime.

“Today, under the chief constable’s leadership, Essex Police is one of the most improved forces in the country and I look forward to working together over the coming years to continue our ongoing improvement and modernisation of the service.”

3 comments

  • I concur with both these comments. £750 a day ain't bad is it, plus company car and I doubt he'll be working till 67 like the rest of us. Difficult job and I'm sure he does it well but the pay of some council tax funded bosses is getting out of hand. Maybe if Theresa May and Amber Rudd legalised cannabis it would create more money for essential services and let the police spend more time on real crime with real victims. Maybe give some of the tax to the ambulance service so little old ladies don't lay on the floor for 6 hours after a fall. Think carefully were to put your cross on local and national election days.

    Report this comment

    fnutboy

    Friday, April 28, 2017

  • A bit rich for the Chief plod on his £200K pa salary to bellyache about 'austerity', but I suppose it does allow him to virtue-signal and show how he knows which buzz words to use. I guess Essex must be fairly crime-free if 'austerity is his biggest challenge' - so, no murders, child grooming, stabbings, burglaries etc? Idiot.

    Report this comment

    cthulu

    Friday, April 28, 2017

  • How long ago was it that Theresa May then Home Secretary stood at The Dispatch Box in The House of Commons and said "There will be NO loss of Front Line Police Officers" ?...as Yvette Cooper stood up in The House of Commons last week and said..."You cannot believe a word she says" !...meaning Theresa May !....how true !..

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Friday, April 28, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

Friday, June 22, 2018

Essex Police arrested 45 people during the first week of the summer anti-drink and drug driving campaign.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Essex Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was fatally stabbed in Chelmsford.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The decision on Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers has been delayed by Uttlesford District Council as the authority seeks extra information and clarification.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Felsted mum will battle the July heat when she competes in a triathalon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dunmow Broadcast e-edition E-edition

Most read stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Dunmow Broadcast weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy