ESSEX Police Authority will receive £160,000 from the Government to help meet the costs incurred folllowing the Korean Air cargo plane crash near Stansted Airport in December 1999.

The force has said it is "extremely pleased" to have received the contribution towards the total bill of £343,000, after Essex Police submitted a claim to the Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions (DETR) for help in meeting the costs.

The funding will be provided under the DETR's Bellwin scheme, which gives financial help to local authorities following an emergency or disaster. It will be the first time the scheme has been used in this way.

Essex Police Assistant Chief Officer (Support) Philip Onions said: "Essex Police is extremely pleased to receive the additional funding of £160,000.

"The criteria for Bellwin funding are stringent and conditions include that an undue financial burden would otherwise fall on the authority but conditions must be exceptional and the damage to the infrastructure or communities also exceptional."

Under the Bellwin scheme, the DETR will usually reimburse 85 per cent of costs, above a threshold which it would expect an authority to set aside for emergencies. Essex Police Authority's threshold for 1999 was £185,000.

The 747 plane came down close to houses on the edge of Hatfield Forest at Great Hallingbury, claiming the lives of the four Korean crewmen.