Essex Police marine unit shuts and police dogs reduced

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A police marine unit in Essex is to close and the number of trained dogs cut from 52 to 40 to save money.

The restructure will save over £750,000 a year, the chief constable said.

Specialist marine officers will still provide expertise, and retired dogs could stay with handlers as pets or a suitable home will be found for them.

These steps are part of a campaign by Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh to trim £36m from the Essex Police annual budget by March 2017.

He is also modernising the force. Specialist domestic abuse officers are to be equipped with body-worn video cameras, while mobile technology will be used to speed up crime investigations by eliminating the need for officers tor return to police stations to access information.

The force has one large vessel, three smaller rigid-hulled inflatable boats (rhibs) and two jet-skis and is evaluating which equipment to retain.

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