Four years ago the government told police forces they had to investigate the possibility of merging. This cost the country millions of pounds while forces set up special units tasked with investigating the costs & benefits, or otherwise, of merging.Ã‚Â They were full of senior officers who make careers of keeping away from front line policing (if you accept that any senior officer is actually ever involved in front line policing).
All the money & work was wasted when the government decided it didn’t want forces to merge. It was probably something to do with having to spend more cash to bring it off.
Since then, some chief constables have been conspiring with each other to bring about mergers anyway, working away at creating joint units, merging a department at a time.
Now it’s back on the cards as the government find more ways to save cash & avoid the really bad publicity that the inevitable sacking of police officers that comes with the enforced cuts we are now suffering. A committee of MPs is suggesting the exploration of mergers once again, which will probably mean setting up the same boards with the same senior officers as last time & spending the money all over again. This time, the MPs say, the Home Office must fund the mergers properly.
Their figures suggest merging small neighbouring forces such as Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire could cost Ã‚Â£20 million, but would result in savings of Ã‚Â£15 million per year.
Here we go again…