Police reveal merger ideas

SUFFOLK police today revealed the seven areas in which it could merge with Cambridgeshire and Norfolk constabularies.The force has been involved in discussions with its neighbours about how it could combine its services and operations.

SUFFOLK police today revealed the seven areas in which it could merge with Cambridgeshire and Norfolk constabularies.

The force has been involved in discussions with its neighbours about how it could combine its services and operations.

Finding savings in buying new equipment, the creation of joint custody suites and the management of its vehicles have all been mooted.

Working together in the investigation of major crimes, handling of emergency calls, creation of computer systems and the storage of property and archive material is also being looked at.

Simon Stevens, Suffolk police spokesman, said: "The police authorities and constabularies of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are all under increasing pressure to deliver ever more effective, efficient and economic policing services.

"As a result, we have teamed up to form the Three Counties collaborative programme to examine areas where joint working could produce improvements that could not be achieved by forces working alone."

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Mr Stevens said no timescale has been placed on when any merger could take place.

He added sites for nine new custody suites are already being looked at and are likely to be located on borders between the three counties.

The plans for a possible merger are currently being considered by the Home Office and is due to be looked at in an upcoming report on the issue.

Though still at an early stage, talk of any merger has met opposition in some quarters.

Suffolk Coastal Conservative MP John Gummer has said he would "fight" such moves "all the way".

Chris Mole, Labour MP for Ipswich, added he would needed to be convinced of the benefits to Suffolk before backing it.

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