Concern at police merger
PUBLISHED: 11:30 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 May 2010
CONTROVERSIAL Government plans to merge Herts, Beds and Essex constabularies will go ahead despite opposition from all three forces. Home Secretary Charles Clarke announced the merger on Tuesday as part of Her Majesty s Inspectorate of Constabularies prog
CONTROVERSIAL Government plans to merge Herts, Beds and Essex constabularies will go ahead despite opposition from all three forces.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke announced the merger on Tuesday as part of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies programme to amalgamate many of England's police forces.
Over the past six months Herts, Beds and Essex have put up a fierce argument against the proposals. Mr Clarke now expects the mergers to begin this autumn.
Peter Conniff, chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority, said: "As anticipated, the Home Secretary has announced he intends to press ahead to merge Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex to form one strategic force, despite the refusal of all three police authorities to agree to a voluntary merger.
"We will continue to work with our opposite numbers in Herts and Essex to ensure the best possible result for local communities."
A Herts Police Authority spokesman said: "The Home Secretary's announcement is of no surprise. We sent a letter to him last week reiterating concerns that we originally expressed to him last December, including who picks up the cost for the merger. Although the Home Office has offered to pay 100 per cent of the costs, the figures they are quoting fall far short of what we believe to be the true costs.
"We do not expect council tax payers in Hertfordshire to foot the bill. In addition, we remain concerned about the way different council tax levels will be equalised across the three counties.
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