Suffolk may oppose police merger move

PROPOSALS to merge police forces in East Anglia into one “super service” may still be opposed by Suffolk next week.County councillors are to debate merger proposals at its full council meeting on Thursday, but leader Jeremy Pembroke remains doubtful about any change.

PROPOSALS to merge police forces in East Anglia into one “super service” may still be opposed by Suffolk next week.

County councillors are to debate merger proposals at its full council meeting on Thursday, but leader Jeremy Pembroke remains doubtful about any change.

He said: “We are told that the status quo is not an option, but I hope that isn't the case because I think a lot of people would like to see us retain our existing police force.

“Suffolk police is very efficient and well respected in the county. It does a very good job. Suffolk is the safest county in England.


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“I don't think we want to lose that by merging with other forces - and we should be able to tell the government that we don't want our force to become part of a larger body.”

Mr Pembroke said that Conservatives at Endeavour House would be given a free vote on the proposal - but expected most would prefer to see the retention of the current position.

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However the government is determined to merge smaller police forces - like Suffolk - to form larger organisations.

The Home Office has asked police authorities to comment on the proposals and give an indication of how they would like to see the merger carried out in their region.

Suffolk has been asked whether it would like a merger with just Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, or a larger merger of all the forces in the six counties of the eastern region.

Retaining the status quo, of county-based forces, is not an option for the government.

The government has set a deadline of December 23 for organisations and individuals to send in representations about the future shape of police forces.

A report by Chief Constable Denis O'Connor from the inspectorate of constabularies earlier this year recommended that smaller forces should be merged to form larger organisations.

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