Warwickshire and West Mercia Police agree £10.7m deal after split

Image caption,
Warwickshire Police's alliance with West Mercia Police is due to end

A police force which ended a six-year alliance with another has agreed to pay a £10.7m settlement.

West Mercia Police said in 2018 that ending the alliance, which saw it share services with Warwickshire, would give the public better value for money.

The forces had shared operations, including IT and forensics, with about 80% of the shared services based in West Mercia's area.

They will continue to share the services until at least April 2021.

Image source, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commsioner's office
Image caption,
Warwickshire Police, whose headquarters are at Leek Wootton, have been re-establishing services in the county

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said he was pleased they had found a "mutually acceptable way forward".

"During the current Covid-19 public health emergency, it is important that both forces are in a position to focus fully on what is needed to support their local communities," he said.

He added the "fair settlement" recognised "the considerable costs that we have already had to bear in re-establishing services within the county since the alliance termination decision was made by West Mercia".

West Mercia Police, which had said it was subsidising Warwickshire, the UK's smallest county police force, added ending the alliance came at a short-term financial cost but enabled it to better use its resources and become more efficient.

"It is vital that West Mercia Police is able to respond to the challenges and demand, which couldn't be more important right now in the current climate," a spokesperson said.

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