Police force pushes ahead with latest money-saving merger plans

Police collaboration news.
Police collaboration news.

Three police forces are pushing ahead with further collaboration to meet a funding shortfall.

Herts, Beds and Cambs police forces have agreed to merge its custody, criminal justice and ICT departments.

A business case has also been drawn up to collaborate the information management department functions.

The changes will help the forces to meet a predicted £62million funding gap between now and 2019/20.

Herts 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.”

Under criminal justice, processes and policies will be standardised and streamlined across Herts, Beds and Cambs according to best practice.

Greater use of technology such as electronic witness statements and digital storage solutions will help to modernise this service.

By improving storage facilities and the timely submission of evidential case material to the Crown Prosecution Service, the length of trials could be reduced.

Under custody changes, around £1million will be saved within two years by adopting common working practices that will help free up staff time to focus on more detainees, ensuring that each person is seen as promptly as possible.

Both the collaborated custody and criminal justice departments will be overseen by a single, centralised senior management team.

The creation of a single ICT department will ensure that there is a consistent approach to the service.

Staff working in the affected department will be consulted before a final decision on collaboration is made.