Plans on how Essex Police intend to make another £24million in cuts should be revealed next month.

By 2016 the force has to be functioning with £78million less a year than in 2010.

This year the force is looking at a £24million reduction which will inevitably mean cuts in the number of officers and staff.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “This won’t come just from efficiencies.

“We have to have a fair and balanced organisation and deal with 999 emergencies and it is difficult.

“The number of officers, police staff and PCSOs will reduce because most of the budget is spent on people and it will be a challenge.”

Mr Kavanagh is keen to keep the level of police officers above 3,000 which would still equate to about 20 per cent less officers in the county than just a few years ago.