Strategic Alliance: Cambridgeshire to merge police services with neighbouring forces

THE police authority has given the go-ahead to ‘strategic alliance’ plans which will see Cambridgeshire Constabulary share some services with neighbouring forces.

The authority claims that up to �3million a year will be saved by merging the firearms, major crime, professional standards and scientific services units so that they are shared between Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

The joint services will be established early next year as each of the forces try to cut costs without impacting on frontline policing.

By 2015, it is anticipated that joint functions and support services, comprising more than 50% of policing business, will be saving around �20m per year.

The plans - deemed a ‘strategic alliance’ by the counties’ police authorities - will be the first time Cambridgeshire has merged services.

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Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire already run a ‘Joint Collaboration Programme’ - developing 13 joint functions and saving the forces more than �4m per year.

Ruth Rogers, Chair of Cambridgeshire Police Authority, said: “These complex business cases are the result of a great deal of work by the constabularies and scrutiny by the authorities.

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“We look forward to them helping to ensure effective policing whilst making the best use of resources for the three areas.”

Chief Constable Simon Parr said: “We are very pleased to be developing this shared response with our partner forces.

“We will be monitoring the implementation very closely to ensure we deliver a high quality service to the public as well as making the financial savings.”

The collaboration of the firearms unit will save around �542,000 per year while the merging of the major crime unit, which investigates crimes including homicide and attempted murder, should save �700,000.

Sharing the professional standards department should save �637,000 while merging the scientific services unit, which handles all forensic work, will chop �670,000 from the dwindling police budgets.

Areas that will not be considered for joint working include local policing matters, such as incident response, neighbourhood policing and volume crime investigation.

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