June 20, 2006

Disagreement in East Anglia

The Eastern Daily Press reports mixed reactions in East Anglia.
Norfolk Police Authority chairman Stephen Bett said the delay was irritating. "All the three constabularies know it would be wise to go down the amalgamation route," he said. "They are all geared up and working to go down that route, and not making a decision is just causing people anxiety. What I would like is for him to just get a grip of it and get on with the amalgamation.

"If we do not do it, by 2009 the smaller rural constabularies will be in meltdown because we just do not know where the money is coming from to enable us to police properly. The sooner we get on with it, the better."

But Suffolk chief constable Alastair McWhirter said: "We welcome the Home Secretary's decision to consult with us more fully on the most effective approach to meeting our joint aims to improve both neighbourhood policing and protective services."
Tory MP Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) called for a referendum on the changes.

We seem to recall that public opinion locally was hostile to police force mergers. Is Mr Bett carrying his voters with him?

Maybe he should be asked! We would be happy to publish his response.

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