Clarke forces through police mergers

HOME Secretary Charles Clarke has brushed aside objections to police mergers and is proceeding with plans to create an East Anglia superforce comprising the Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire constabularies and also a separate Essex-Hertfordshire-Bedfordshire force.

By Graham Dines

HOME Secretary Charles Clarke has brushed aside objections to police mergers and is proceeding with plans to create an East Anglia superforce comprising the Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire constabularies and also a separate Essex-Hertfordshire-Bedfordshire force.

Norfolk has accepted Mr Clarke's proposals, but both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have refused to volunteer to merge. They have until August 11 to rethink or formulate objections but Mr Clarke said yesterday he expected to begin merger procedures in the autumn, with the new forces becoming operation on April 1, 2008, he said in a written statement.

In a statement, Mr Clarke said he was satisfied, “on the basis of the protective services assessment undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and our evaluation of the financial and other aspects of the business cases submitted to us in December, that it would be in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of policing” for a number of England's forces to merge.


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