Keeping it local is police aim

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Cheshire Police Authority has distributed its newspaper 'Your Policing' to all households this week with the headline 'Keeping it local to deliver the service you want.' Whether this is a veiled comment on Government plans to merge Cheshire Police with Merseyside is not blatantly clear but it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to reach that conclusion.

'To merge or not to merge?' is another headline inside the publication. The Government plans to change the 30 year old 43 force structure in England and Wales and says each force should have at least 4,000 officers. Cheshire has 2,215. A merger can only take place within a region thus ruling out a merger with North Wales or West Mercia, which covers Shropshire. While Cheshire Police Authority settled on a preference for a regional structure of the five North West forces, last month the Home Secretary announced he wanted Cheshire to merge with Merseyside and said he would push that merger through if necessary.

On 21st February, Cheshire Police Authority agreed not to voluntarily merge as there were a number of unanswered questions and there was no evidence that the Home Secretary's proposal would result in more effective and efficient policing in Cheshire. The Home Secretary has indicated that he will make an amalgamation order through Parliament and that new senior management teams will be in place by January 2007 for those forces ordered to merge.

If you wish to express your concerns about the proposed merger, please write to your MP suggests the police newspaper. Audlem Parish Council, as reported on Audlem Online on Saturday, has sent its objections.


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