Cambridgeshire police team up with neighbouring forces to tackle mulit-million pound deficit

Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
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Cambridgeshire police is to collaborate further with forces in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to tackle their expected multi-million pound deficit.

The three forces are predicting a £62 million funding gap between now and 2019/20 but they hope that an ever closer working arrangement will save millions of pounds.

Greater collaboration will come in the areas of custody, criminal justice and ICT.

For criminal justice, processes and policies will be standardised and streamlined across the three forces according to best practice.

There will be greater use of technology such as electronic witness statements.

Under the custody proposals, around £1 million will be saved within two years of implementation by aligning and streamlining processes.

In addition, as the forces move forward with collaboration there will be the creation of a single ICT department to ensure a consistent approach.

Staff in the affected departments across the three forces will be formally consulted within the coming months before final decisions regarding collaboration are made.

Sir Graham Bright, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, said: “This announcement marks the latest milestone in our long term strategy to improve the resilience of the three forces and to make the savings needed to balance the books.

“By working to the same high standards in the same way we improve both our efficiency and our effectiveness, pooling resources and cutting out duplication.

“It will also make it easier for people across the three counties to communicate with us. I am delighted that our collaboration with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire is proving so fruitful. We will now consult with staff before making a final decision.”

Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire Constabulary Alec Wood said: “I welcome the agreements as part of the necessary step that collaboration will help us take to meet our financial challenges.

“Additionally, the collaboration will provide Cambridgeshire with much needed additional resilience and will enable greater efficiencies to be made in the future.

“I recognise that the agreements will create uncertainty for staff working in these areas and we will do everything to support them through this difficult period.”