Essex Police has saved an estimated £4million this financial year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston has revealed the force has made the savings primarily from not replacing PCSOs who have left.

Mr Alston said the cash would not be wasted, and would be used to mitigate the £11million in cuts the force faces in the next financial year.

However he said staffing levels will still be under pressure.

Provisional figures for the 2013-14 financial year reveal Essex Police will be about 1-1.5 per cent under budget, roughly £4million.

Most of the money comes from cash allocated to salaries for 360 PCSOs but through natural wastage the number of the officers has dropped to 310.

Mr Alston said: “Against a backdrop of reduced funding, we need our police to be able to fight crime and keep communities safe as smartly and effectively as possible.

“Whatever the final figure I can guarantee every single penny will be spent on policing and keeping our communities safe. None of that money will be lost.

“Essex Police is facing a financial cliff in 2015-16, and any money which is not spent will be used to mitigate the risks arising both next year and in 2015-16.

“This inevitably means there will be fewer police officers, PCSOs and police staff in the future.”
Essex Police has seen its grant from central government cut by 4.8 per cent for the next financial year, worth £8.4million.

Around 84 per cent of the force budget is spent on salaries.