Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Essex: Police force spends more than £1m guarding their own buildings

09:00 18 August 2012

Police reveal security bill

Police reveal security bill

Archant © 2008

MORE than £1million has been spent on security services to patrol and guard Essex Police buildings, it can be revealed.

Security staff has also been paid to escort people around site and man panic and intruder alarms.

The force said that the £1,042,692 spent on security staff at a single site, which has cost taxpayers an average of £208,538 per annum for the last five years, comes out of a national budget.

But a spokesman declined to say if the amount, details of which were released after a Freedom of Information request (FOI) by The East Anglian Daily Times, could have been spent elsewhere.

A subsequent FOI asking which national budget the money was from and who controls that budget was refused by Essex Police on the grounds that it was “exempt information.”

MPs last night accused force bosses of “splitting hairs” and said the security money still came from taxpayers who have a right to know how, when and why their money is spent.

According to figures released by the force total, £152,386 was spent on the services of security companies in 2011/12.

In 2010/2011 £253,814 had been paid out, a slight drop on £254,663 of 2009/2010, the highest figure in the five year period.

A spokesman said for Essex Police said that only one of its sites made use of security guards, but would not identify it.

He added that to do so could allow those with “criminal intent to target the building which could jeopardise the effectiveness of it, and its ability to carry out its function.”

But the force did say that their security is not provided by G4S, the firm who described their own failures at the Olympics as a “humiliating shambles’.

They declined to name which firm does work at its site.

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell urged Essex Police to be more forthcoming with information about the security used at their Essex site.

He said: “I think it is splitting hairs whether it comes out of home office budget or Essex Police’s budget. It is public money.

“I would urge Essex Police to not to be so secretive. I don’t think we’re asking for anything unreasonable. It is perfectly reasonable for the tax payers of Essex to be told how and why their money has been spent. We are not asking for details of the security or anything that would compromise what they are doing.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Essex Police does employ a company to provide property services, and this work includes a small amount of security. However, payment for all these services is paid for through a national fund and does not come from any Essex Police budget.”

According to the FOI, security at the site are tasked with surveillance patrols of the building and site, internal floor patrols of communal areas, reception services, activation of fire detection systems and alarms, activation of intruder alarms, panic alarms and security alerts.

They are also given parking management, escort duties and passenger lift assistance duties.

1 comment

  • How much public money is wasted having to answer ridiculous FOI requests by newspapers & others

    Report this comment

    Derek Reeve

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dougie and Sheila Gedny with their daughter Linda Main at the completion of Upper Abbey Farmhouse at Leiston.

A Suffolk woman has returned to the house where she was born more than 70 years ago to see it fully restored following a fire.

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

The circus rolled up to a Suffolk seaside town for the launch of an annual festival featuring some ‘big top’ names from the world of art, literature, music and dance.

The Pigs Gone Wild trail covers key Ipswich landmarks

There were shrieks of delightthis morning as children scrambled over concrete plinths holding some exciting new additions to Ipswich town centre.

Nitro Circus Live at Foxhall Stadium.

Despite poor weather threatening to ruin the event, American-based stunt group Nitro Circus brought their thrill-a-minute travelling show to Foxhall Stadium this weekend.

Will Young at Newmarket Nights - photos by Simon Traylen

Evergreen pop star Will Young showed he remains a hit with fans as crowds flocked to see him perform at Newmarket racecourse.

Race for Life in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy rain overnight.

Today’s Race for Life event in Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy raining and flooding at Nowton Park.

The e-fit police have issued in the investigation of a rape in Brandon

Fifteen people spoke to police carrying out checks in the area of a sex attack – one week after it happened near a primary school in Brandon, near Thetford.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24