England

Cleveland and Durham police gun and road teams merge

Two police forces in the north-east of England are setting up a joint firearms and roads policing unit.

Cleveland and Durham police authorities have approved the plan for the single team to oversee firearms operations, crash inquiries and road patrols.

The move is expected to save the forces more than £600,000 a year.

It will release 14 officers but create six police staff posts. It is not yet known whether the roles will be redeployed or lost through retirement.

Staff consultation about setting up the unit, which will operate from bases at Wynyard on Teesside and Aykley Heads in Durham, is under way.

A Durham Police spokesman said: "As with all operational collaborations, this initiative is aimed at providing value for money to the public while delivering an equal or improved service, and it will do that.

"Between the two forces, this venture will ultimately release 14 police officers from this area of business while providing an additional six police staff posts.

"The exact timing of these changes and extent to which those police officers will be capable of being released to the frontline, or instead lost from overall force numbers through retirement, will be dependent on the outcome of the comprehensive spending review."

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