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A regional police force could be the way

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK police may merge with Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to form a large East Anglian force, if an out-going chief constable gets his way.

Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable, Ben Gunn, who retires on June 30, said a merger would be a way of coping with increasing demands on the force, which was being stretched to the limit.

SUFFOLK police may merge with Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to form a large East Anglian force, if an out-going chief constable gets his way.

Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable, Ben Gunn, who retires on June 30, said a merger would be a way of coping with increasing demands on the force, which was being stretched to the limit.

His comments echo those of Metropolitan Police Commissioner and former deputy chief constable of Cambridgeshire, Sir John Stevens, who said the three forces could merge, at a lecture in London last week.

Mr Gunn said: "I am not suggesting that Cambridgeshire should immediately be merged to make a larger regional force but there is a definite requirement to consider it."

Since Mr Gunn took over in 1994 the number of calls to Cambridgeshire Constabulary has increased by 143 per cent while the force has continued to receive Government funding well below the national average.

While Cambridge's crime rises, incidents in Norfolk and Suffolk were on the decrease, he said.

"Last year we had 15 major incidents at one point and Suffolk and Norfolk didn't. We were hit with major incident after major incident and at one point, if we'd had another, we would not have had a senior investigating officer to deal with it. There have been times in the past year when we have really struggled."

At the time of going to press, Suffolk constabulary was unable to comment on the proposed merger.

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