Is police merger on the cards?

The idea of police forces merging to cut costs has been put back on the table by Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Speaking on Monday, he said forces should consider merging due to continued austerity cuts and shrinking budgets.

He said: “

“Do criminals respect these county boundaries? No, they don’t. They seek markets with high population densities to sell drugs and steal property. They pass local and national borders with ease.”

Recent developments have already seen Sussex Police work closely with the Surrey force, teaming up on the Christmas drink-drive crack-down and a firearms amnesty.

Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “Our aim is to deliver policing more efficiently through embracing technology and multi-agency working, reducing cost and engaging with the public in the best way.

“Sussex Police was publicly acknowledged only this month by the HMIC for running a tight ship and collaborating with partners, including Surrey Police, to gain maximum benefits in terms of financial savings and delivering good quality policing.

“The public can be reassured that with efficiencies already made overall crime has reduced in the last three years making Sussex Police one of the safety forces nationally.

“And while I understand that changes can be unsettling, the officers and staff I speak with around the force are highly motivated, professional people with a passion for what they do and are very actively contributing to shaping our police service for the future.

“I am confident that by exploring new ways of working we can meet competing demands effectively.”

Sussex Police is working on a model for the future and has revealed its initial thinking for policing Sussex for the coming five years.

DCC Pinkney said:”The design principles contain possibilities which are aligned to the future vision for the organisation, but they are not what we will definitely do and do not go in detail as to how they could be done.

It assists in making choices and is an internal document written to guide the work of the design team.

“The financial challenge is to make savings in the region of £55 million by 2020.

“The model is about working efficiently to a reduced budget; being a modern, trusted workforce with integrity at our core.

“The absence of crime and disorder, together with strong community relations, will be our measure of success.

“We are committed to core policing - protecting communities, prioritising those who are most vulnerable to harm and reducing crime by catching criminals.