max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

John Lewis opened in Chelmsford last month

An Essex woman is calling on retailers to do more for larger women after feeling “worthless” during a recent trip to the new John Lewis store in Chelmsford.

The puppy had horrific injuries and vets were forced to put it down to end its suffering

An eight-week-old Jack Russell terrier suffering from devastating injuries was handed to vets in Braintree on Monday.

Pupils of Haughley Primary School with Halloween lanterns they made in October 1987.

Halloween is just around the corner, meaning pumpkin carving and trick or treating will take over our lives for the next few days.

Enchanted Forest, Anglo Saxon village, West Stow - Pamela Bidwell

This week our iwitness themes was eerie Suffolk - open to anything that may spook or look odd.

Pigeons gathering for an early morning meeting at the farm gate - by Heather Tanner

Everyday our readers send in photos to iwitness24 that they have taken while out and about along the Suffolk coast, visiting one of our many beauty spots or while relaxing in their own gardens.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court

Magistrates’ courts could return to towns such as Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds, the police and crime commissioner has said, despite the Government shutting all but one of Suffolk’s summary courthouses last month.

CCTV images of a burglary in Ipswich

Police have released CCTV images of a man they wish to speak to after a home in Ipswich was burgled last month.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24