Changes to the way Essex Police’s marine unit is run are due to begin on Tuesday, after it was announced that the unit was being axed.

The force announced in December that the unit, based in Station Road, Burnham, is being disbanded and the dog section is being cut back as part of efforts to save £78million a year by 2016.

On Tuesday, some of its nine marine officers, who patrol about 360 miles of coastline, will transfer to Special Branch but may be asked to assist at incidents in Essex.

It is believed five officers will make the move.

Special Branch officers deal with any matters which may involve any form of disruptive activity, such as terrorism, and can work at airports and seaports.

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