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D-Day for region's police forces

[Tuesday 21 March 2006]

A decision is looming as to whether our local bobbies will be amalgamated into a regional 'superforce'.

North Yorkshire's Chief Constable is today in London with colleagues from the region's three other police forces for a meeting with the Home Secretary.

D-Day for local policing?
D-Day for local policing?

Charles Clarke will use the meeting to announce his decision as to the way he sees the future for policing structures within the Yorkshire and Humber region - and whether any of the proposed force mergers will go ahead.

In a Ministerial Statement, the Home Office says a decision has been reached based on an assessment of the delivery of protective services - described as counter-terrorism, serious and organised crime, major crime, civil contingencies, critical incidents, public order and strategic roads policing.

No details of the decision are yet being released but it is known that Chief Constable Della Cannings is in favour of a region wide merger. Other options for the North Yorkshire force include an amalgamation with West Yorkshire Police or, as currently seems unlikely, retaining the current force structures.

Concerns have being raised that any merger would detract from local policing, as well as over the possible cost of any new headquarters building for the proposed 'superforce'. In a recent open letter, Ms Cannings described the media's highlighting of these concerns as scaremongering.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5pm, after which the Chief Constables will meet to discuss the way ahead.

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