Police chiefs summit agrees to further collaboration proposals for Herts, Beds and Cambs

Police are appealing for information after a man was stabbed in Stevenage.

Police are appealing for information after a man was stabbed in Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

Three police forces who have already teamed up in a number of key areas are looking at even more ways they can work together.

With continuing pressure on budgets the chief constables and police and crime commissioners for Herts, Beds and Cambs met this week to agree to work on ‘full business cases’ to amalgamate their custody, criminal justice and computer systems.

The move could save millions of pounds, they say, but also offer more opportunities to ‘improve and refine police services’ in the three counties. Staff working within the affected areas will be formally consulted in the coming months before final decisions are made.

In the area of criminal justice, the focus is on supporting victims and witnesses while ensuring every offender is brought to justice as swiftly as possible. The aim is for processes and policies to be standardised and streamlined, making greater use of technology such as electronic witness statements and digital storage solutions.

Under the custody proposals, around £1m could be saved within two years by aligning and streamlining processes. There are no plans to make changes to the number of custody suites.

Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This new agreement builds on several years of successful collaboration where we have managed to achieve efficiencies and savings across the three forces without adversely affecting the services we provide to the public. “These new savings will enable us to continue to protect local policing in Hertfordshire and to continue investing in new capability to tackle domestic abuse, cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation.”

Herts chief constable Andy Bliss said: “The criminal justice system plays a vital role in making those who offend accountable for their actions.

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“This helps to prevent crime and to keep people safe. It is really important that we, in the police, play our full part and ensure that our systems are efficient and good value for money.

“We have excellent staff in these areas and these changes should help by reducing bureaucracy and making systems more consistent across the three forces.”