THE CREATION of a controversial 'super police force' is set to go ahead in Yorkshire and Humberside, despite intense opposition from some of the existing forces.
In a written statement, Home Secretary Charles Clarke confirmed that 'super forces' will be established in the Yorkshire and Humber region, as well as in the South East, East Anglia and the Midlands.
Government to push
through police merger
The Government believes that only through a major restructuring process can Police forces hope to tackle national and international issues such as organised crime and terrorism.
Opponents have voiced fears over the possible cost of any restructuring, as well as the potential lack of a localised focus in the new regional policing structure.
Mr Clarke said: "North Yorkshire Police Authority has volunteered to merge, but in the absence of a similar request to merge from Humberside, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police Authorities this merger is unable to proceed on a voluntary basis."
North Yorkshire Police Authority was last week the only one of the four regional Authorities's to vote in favour of a merger. This follows on from Chief Constable Della Cannings' assertion earlier in the year that a merger would actually enhance local policing.
Mr Clarke continued: "I am satisfied, on the basis of the protective services assessment undertaken by 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 the following forces to merge:
- Humberside, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire
- Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire
- Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk
- Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire
- Surrey and Sussex
"I am accordingly today giving written notice to all the Police Authorities, Local Authorities and Chief Constables in the affected areas of my intention to merge the above police force areas, setting out my reasons for proposing the merger and specifying the general nature of the provisions to be made."
Local forces and Police Authorities now have until August 11th to put forward any objections; however, Mr Clarke stated his determination to begin merger procedures no later than the autumn.
The proposed new 'super force' will come into operation on April 1st 2008.