By Mike Speakman, Policing Spokesman
13th January 2020
There is a new initiative from the Police Chiefs Council to merge police forces. The last decades have seen an increasing centralisation of policing, geared more to satisfying central government objectives which often have little to do with real policing issues. I believe the government and civil service see the Police as a tool for social engineering rather than for law enforcement and this approach has skewed policing to the point where they will not attend a burglary but will knock on your door for “wrong think”.
Yes, mergers will reduce costs in the same way as closing hospitals, courts and police stations have reduced costs. All at the expense of making these services more remote from and increasing costs on Joe Public.
In policing the underlying issue is accountability, people identify with their local forces and the more remote they become, the weaker the relationship between police and public. The reputation of the police is probably at an all-time low and will be further damaged by more amalgamations. This is definitely the wrong way to go.
For Britain policy is to oppose any more force mergers.