East Midlands police crime units aim to save £26m

Five East Midlands police forces hope to save £26m over four years by creating two regional units to tackle major and serious organised crime.

Specialist officers and civilian staff working on crimes such as murder and armed robbery will be reduced, from 665 to about 480, and overheads cut.

The police said the move would help provide an integrated response in the region.

The changes will be phased in over the coming months.

Numbers of people dedicated to major crimes in Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire will be cut from 315 to about 230 while those working on serious organised crime will fall from 350 to about 250.

Officers will be redeployed to their local forces but there will be an unknown number of civilian redundancies, said police.

Chair of Northamptonshire Police Authority Deirdre Newham said: "It is essential to provide an integrated response throughout the region.

"Financial savings and the avoidance of duplication of effort can then be coupled with greater efficiencies of co-operative working," she said.

The five forces hope to save £60m over the next five years through a number of collaboration projects.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon, of Derbyshire Police, said: "I would much sooner that we were increasing our teams around organised crime but I know the reality of what we face.

"We face huge financial difficulties in terms of making the cuts. We are having to cuts in staff numbers to meet our budget gap," he said.

The chairman of the Nottinghamshire Police Federation, Phil Matthews, questioned the changes.

"Will the forces have the resilience to deal with the workloads that will be placed on the much fewer officers around the region dealing with the tasks?" he asked.

"Have they taken into account the travelling time, the vehicles that they will need to get people around the region and the costs involved in that?"

The crime units will be centrally led and co-ordinated but continue to be locally delivered and the collaboration between the five forces will be the largest of its kind in England, said a police spokesperson.

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