Cambridgeshire police will explore sharing more services with neighbouring police forces in bid to save cash

A special constable has been charged with sexual offences against children

A special constable has been charged with sexual offences against children - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire police is to explore the possibility of sharing more services with colleagues in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire as all three forces look to fill significant gaps in funding.

The three forces will put together a business case for sharing custody, criminal justice and IT services, with the potential for jobs to be lost as departments services are shared across the forces.

The chief constables and police and crime commissioners for the three forces met at a summit last week where they also reached agreement on a business case to collaborate their information management department functions.

Cambridgeshire police said that, in addition to potentially saving millions of pounds, collaboration will offer the opportunity “to further improve and refine police services to better fight crime and protect local communities”.

The three forces predict they will have a combined £62m funding gap between now and 2019/20.

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.”

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Staff working within custody, criminal justice, ICT and information management across the three forces will be formally consulted with in the coming months before final decisions regarding collaboration are made.

Chief Constable 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.”