June 23, 2006

East Midlands merger opposed

Eastwood Today says that Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire Police Authorities had all disagreed with the plan for an East Midlands 'superforce'.

But John Clarke, chairman of Notts Police Authority, said, "We have said we are not for or against a merged East Midlands police force, but want more time to consult the public about the proposal."

East Midlands Conservative MEPs Chris Heaton-Harris and Roger Helmer welcomed the announcement but said they would continue campaigning against the mergers until the proposals were scrapped entirely.

They are determined that policing should be kept local.

Mr Heaton-Harris, said: "This is a partial victory but we will keep up the fight until we can be sure that local police forces are safe from the hands of Labour home secretaries.

"We will continue to campaign on this to make sure that John Reid knows that these plans are unwanted and unnecessary."

Mr Helmer added: "I am delighted to see that the government has finally started to see sense on this issue.

"But I am astonished at the pig-headed way they kept pressing on with it, against the advice of so many police forces, and in the teeth of public opposition."

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