Police point to £2.5m benefit of sharing in the fight against crime in across three counties

A Letchworth salon feels aggrieved after being named and shamed in a list of minimum wage offenders.

A Letchworth salon feels aggrieved after being named and shamed in a list of minimum wage offenders. - Credit: Archant

Experts who have been totting up the savings which have resulted from combining specialist teams across police forces in three counties say the collaboration is making a real contribution to the fight against crime.

The bottom line figure shows that ‘joint protective services’ units which operate across Herts, Beds and Cambridgeshire have made savings totalling almost £2.5 million in the past 12 months.

In the face of funding cuts and budget demands from the government, the three forces have amalgamated a string of services in recent years.

These include the major crime unit, specialist firearms officers and the roads policing team as well as the dog unit and scientific services. The joined-up approach saved the three forces £440,000 in the financial year 2013/14 as the changes bedded in but in the last 12 months they have produced a much bigger saving, of just under £2.5 million.

With projected savings for the next 12 months running at £2.24m, that makes more than £5m in predicted savings over three years.

There are a total of 620 officers and 458 staff working in JPS units across the three forces.

A report on their activities noted that the armed policing unit carried out 1,251 arrests and attended 1,722 incidents over the past year, while the dog unit responded to 1,330 incidents and took part in 66 pre-planned operations since January.

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The roads policing team has carried out 2,568 arrests and seized 1,558 vehicles in the last 12 months while the major crime unit has secured more than 1,000 years in jail terms since it was set up.

Assistant chief constable Mike Colbourne from the Bedfordshire force, who oversees the JPS teams, said: “Having dedicated units with diverse expertise from all three forces allows us to bring offenders to justice and make the region safer.

“Statistics of the arrests, investigations and proactive work show just how much value JPS units already add to the three forces and how they support local policing to fight crime’