Force wants compensation for merger axe

SUFFOLK police last night confirmed it was seeking £45,000 in compensation from the Government for costs resulting from the failed force merger proposals.

SUFFOLK police last night confirmed it was seeking £45,000 in compensation from the Government for costs resulting from the failed force merger proposals.

The plans, which would have seen the Suffolk force joined with its Cambridgeshire and Norfolk counterparts, were cancelled by the Home Office in July.

But by that time, forces around the country had invested a great deal of time and money into exploring the future options, which most are now looking to claim back.

While Suffolk police is looking to recoup £45,000, the Cambridgeshire force has lodged a claim for £250,000 and Norfolk £125,000. However, the Government has refused to confirm whether the forces will get all of their money back.


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John Grand, treasurer of Suffolk Police Authority, said the compensation claim made by the county included £28,000 of police authority costs and £17,000 of force costs.

“There was an awful lot of travelling around the region going on as a result of the plans, which bumped up the costs,” he said.

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“The £45,000 figure represents marginal costs - the cost of the police officers' time. We haven't lost a lot of cash but we have lost a lot of time.

“It's important that we recoup the costs that were incurred to meet the proposals of the then Home Secretary, which turned out to be abortive costs.”

Police forces looking to recoup cash were given a deadline of August 31 to make their claim.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We are in contact with all police forces to make it clear that we are prepared to make a contribution to the additional costs which they may have incurred in the preparing for the police mergers.

“We are now in discussion with police forces and police authorities to consider what might be the best way to bring about improvements in protective services.”

Essex Police has already claimed £166,000 in compensation following its abortive merger plans with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

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