England

Joint Kent and Essex task force to target serious crime

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Image caption Kent and Essex Police will share resources to target serious crime

A new task force has been set up by Kent and Essex Police to tackle serious and organised crime.

More than 1,100 officers and support staff will work for the new Serious Crime Directorate, making it one of the largest divisions of its kind.

Kent and Essex Police said they would remain separate, but would share resources to give a better service.

The forces also said the collaboration would help increase efficiency and value for money.

'Enhance our capacity'

Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Pughsley, who will head the new directorate, said: "Serious and organised crime can bring fear and violence to communities, so it is essential that we do all we can to prevent it.

"The directorate allows us to work together and share resources in a way that will benefit greatly the public of Kent and Essex.

"It will enhance our capacity and capability to continue to tackle serious organised crime across both counties and to target those who cause most harm in our communities."

His deputy, Det Ch Supt Gareth Wilson of Essex Police, added: "I relish the chance to work with colleagues across both forces whose enthusiasm and passion for the job will be hugely important in achieving our goals."

The forces said no decisions about the structure and staffing of departments or work locations had been taken and any changes would be subject to a consultation with officers.

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