Fears over plans for regional major crime unit

Plans to create a regional major crime unit have been criticised by Nottinghamshire Police Federation.

The unit would deal with murder, serial rape and kidnap across Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.

There are also plans to share officers in specialist sections such as armed response, firearms and the dogs section, saving £18m by 2013.

Nottinghamshire Police said its aim was to protect front-line services.

'Less officers'

Under the plans the five East Midlands forces will work more closely on a range of both operational and non-operational services.

Police Federation chairman Mick Taylor said: "The chances are that this means downsizing in each area, which means less officers in those specialist departments and less officers across the region.

"Our concerns would lie in public safety, because those specialist departments are going to be spread thinly over a bigger area."

The proposals were presented to Nottinghamshire's Police Authority this week.

Nottinghamshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: "I understand there will be concerns about many of these changes.

"Fundamental to all these plans is the aim to protect neighbourhood policing and front-line services and provide the high level of service the public rightly expects."

Nottinghamshire Police is expecting to make cuts of £45m, 25% of its budget, over the next three years.

The proposals will be discussed by the East Midlands Police Authorities Joint Committee in March.

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