Yorkshire police underwater search teams could merge

The number of police divers across Yorkshire could be halved as police chiefs seek a region-wide merger.

The Yorkshire and Humberside Joint Police Authorities Committee is due to discuss plans on Thursday to reduce the number of divers from 28 to 10.

A report by the region's chief constables proposes the merger of West and South Yorkshire and Humberside's underwater search units into one base.

The reportsaid the merger would enable savings of about £400,000.

Currently the three forces spend £1,125,628 per annum, with 28 divers dedicated to the marine and underwater search units.

Under the proposals, the projected new unit based in the Humberside Police area would cost £719,083, making a 36% saving.

If the proposal is given the go-ahead 18 staff will be released back to the forces.

North Yorkshire Police, which has a contract to use West Yorkshire Police divers, will not be part of the regional merger but will retain the contracted service.

The Yorkshire plan follows the example of the North West forces who work as one team covering the area from Wales to the Solway Firth.

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