Cambs police merges three units with two counties

CAMBRIDGESHIRE police has merged forensic, armed and major crime units with two other forces to make significant savings by 2015.

The force has joined Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire police to reduce their budgets by �30million in the next three years.

At the beginning of April, the joint Scientific Services Unit was established at its base in Sandy, Bedfordshire and will provide and forensic support to all three forces. The unit will operate from locations around the three counties and will save the three forces �1.1million a year.

Armed police will be based in the Cambridgeshire police headquarters in Hinchingbrooke, Kempston, in Bedfordshire, and Welwyn Garden City, in Hertfordshire. Officers will focus on their areas but could be called to the other counties if required.

The Major Crime Unit will investigate murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnap and extortion, as well as other major crimes. The unit will be based in Hinchingbrooke and Welwyn Garden City.

It’s expected the three forces will save more than �1.2million a year from the two units.

Chief constable of Cambridgeshire police, Simon Parr, said: “This is the latest step on a collaborative journey that has been described as exemplary by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and although there will be a lot for us all to get used to as these changes settle in I am certain that we will succeed.

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“Together with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire we are on target to take almost �30m out of our collective budgets over the next three years and these savings will be crucial to allowing each force to maintain delivery of frontline policing in the face of significant financial challenges.”

Ruth Rogers, Chair of Cambridgeshire Police Authority, added: “I am delighted to see this ambitious collaboration project develop, furthering our aim of protecting the policing response in Cambridgeshire as we go through challenging reductions in our budgets.”