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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Jobs could be at risk as West Mercia and Warwickshire Police end partnership

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A money-saving plan which sparked an alliance between Warwickshire Police and West Merica Police will come to an end.

Police Staff and Police Community Support officers fear their jobs could be cut under plans to end the agreement.

Warkwickshire Police have said they are shocked and disappointed at being handed notice to terminate the agreement by West Mercia Police.

Warkwickshire Police have made it very clear they do not support the termination that will put jobs and budgets at risk,

The two forces both shared services to cut costs in 2012 to enable them to better cope with budgets but now they say the alliance will end.

The two forces now believe withdrawing the alliance would ensure they can work more effectively in the future.

This does run the risk of increased costs for both forces who would usually share services resulting in cuts to roles. This has not been confirmed but it is a real worry for Police Staff within both forces.

The forces say they will share some services, but they are not sure how that will look at the moment.

Frontline policing won’t be impacted by the changes but back office staff and support staff could be impacted, Members of police staff were today briefed before details released to the media.

West Mercia PCC John Campion said “This has been a carefully considered decision with communities in mind, and both the Chief Constable and I, are in agreement that this approach will enhance and improve the service moving forward.

“How exactly this will look will be shaped over the next year, and this will be worked in detail, with our communities and workforce at the forefront of any decisions.”

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “This is a positive start for a new chapter for West Mercia Police, opening up opportunities to deliver more efficient and effective policing services and providing the very best protection to our communities, with a greater focus and clarity at a local level.

“Whilst officers will respond as they always have, local policing will be enhanced, by improved supporting services. Work is underway to shape this, refocusing where collaborative arrangements are currently in place.

“The planning of this will now commence at pace, with immediate effect and we will continue ensure our workforce and key partners remain informed throughout this process.”

Following the announcement Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Martin Jelley, said: “I am surprised and disappointed at having been served notice by the West Mercia PCC and Chief Constable terminating our strategic alliance arrangements.  This is clearly a decision which has been taken solely by West Mercia’s PCC and Chief Constable and one which myself and the Warwickshire PCC do not support.

“Our two forces entered into a strategic alliance in 2012 which has been recognised nationally for the extensive nature of its collaboration and has demonstrated significant benefits from shared working.  In fact, it has allowed both forces to save more than £35m and maximise resources to frontline policing.

“Despite this announcement we are committed to ensuring the day-to-day operational focus of Warwickshire Police continues to be on protecting the public from harm and keeping our communities safe.”

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Since I took office in May 2016, I have been strongly supportive of the alliance between Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, which has delivered considerable savings and operational benefits for both forces, receiving national acclaim in the process.

“I am very surprised therefore by the decision by the West Mercia PCC and Chief Constable to end the strategic collaboration between the two forces. This is a hugely disappointing development which I do not support.

“The implications of this decision are significant and I will be working with Chief Constable Martin Jelley to minimise any impact on our communities, partners and workforce. I want to assure the public that throughout this period, Martin and I are determined to ensure that Warwickshire Police continues to deliver a high-quality service to our public.”

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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