Major crime units may merge in North and West Yorkshire

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Major crimes in North and West Yorkshire could be investigated by a single unit across both counties if merger plans go ahead.

The two forces have confirmed they are in the "early stages" of talks.

Government cuts mean both forces must make significant budget savings over the next four years.

It the plans went ahead then major investigations, such as murder, would be handled by detectives working for the merged unit.

North Yorkshire Police must save nearly £20m over the next four years, while the larger West Yorkshire force faces cuts of almost £90m over the same period.

As major investigations can prove costly, both forces could benefit financially from having a single unit.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Brennan, who leads West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: "We are in the very early stages of a scoping exercise involving both forces' major crime units to establish what, if any, benefits can be achieved through joint working."

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police added that no decision on a merger had been made.

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