Essex police will no longer share the funding of police support officers (PCSOs) with councils, it has been announced.

Some local authorities currently contribute to the cost of PCSOs to ensure they are stationed in certain areas.

But Essex Police has now decided to end this arrangement in order to take back control over the distribution of community officers.

The force insist this will provide greater flexibility to allow “operational requirements” to be met.

A spokesman said: “It is envisaged this will lead to a more effective and efficient workforce, allowing us to get coverage right instead of being constrained by funding dictates.”

Essex Police said there will be no redundancies as a result of the move.