Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°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

Manningtree High School maths teacher Miss Ania Kolendo with some of her straight A students.

While pupils nervously see what they have got, it is easy to forget that results day is also an anxious time for teachers.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorcyclist has been injured in a crash which blocked a road on the Suffolk/Norfolk border today.

HM Coastguard

Four people have been taken to hospital following a crash involving a speedboat at Oulton Broad.

Binge-drinker's night out ban

A binge-drinking plasterer has been banned from going out on Fridays and Saturdays after assaulting a police officer while being drunk and disorderly.

Arrests made

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the victim of an assault in Stowmarket soon after the incident occurred.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A Felixstowe bricklayer told magistrates he was ashamed after swearing at police while drunk and telling them taking him to court would be a waste of time.

Readers have shared their Pigs Gone Wild selfies and family photos as the trail reaches its final few days in Ipswich

We will miss them when they are gone but there are still seven days left to see the pigs in situ around Ipswich town centre.

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:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24