Three police forces launch second merged unit

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Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire police forces have launched their second merged service.

The professional standards unit will operate from Biggleswade Police Station in Bedfordshire.

In October last year, the three constabularies agreed to merge units to save £3m a year.

Simon Parr, Cambridgeshire's chief constable, said: "A single professional standards unit is helping us meet the government's demanding financial cuts."

This shared unit is expected to save about £640,000 a year. The savings will be shared by all three police forces.

The chair of Cambridgeshire Police Authority, Ruth Rogers, said: "The strategic alliance with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire is crucial to enable Cambridgeshire to increase resilience in key specialist services such as this, while balancing the budget."

More mergers

In April 2011, a joint procurement department was established for all three constabularies.

This was the first time Cambridgeshire Constabulary had merged units with neighbouring police forces.

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces have been collaborating since 2007.

In October, Cambridgeshire Police Authority approved a strategic alliance with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces, paving the way for more shared services.

In the next few months, joint armed policing, major crime and scientific services units will also be created.

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