June 09, 2006

More confusion in Wales

North Wales Police's chief constable says plans to merge Wales' four police forces are not viable, reports the BBC, though he supports the principle of an all-Wales force - a shift from his own force's original position.

The north Wales police authority has agreed to object formally to the proposed merger, and seek a judicial review should the home secretary over-rule their objections.
The authority could not support a plan which was opposed by the vast majority of people in north Wales, it said.

[The Chief Constable] agreed he would be in favour of the north Wales force continuing in its present form if about £3m extra could be obtained to enable it to provide essential services.

Meanwhile, Gwent police authority also formally objected ... to the merger plans although it did not threaten to seek a judicial review.

Wales' top police officers said on Sunday they would give merger plans another chance after police minister Tony McNulty promised a more hands-on approach to the proposals.

The police chiefs have said they are in favour in principle of the creation of one Welsh force, but have threatened to object over money and timing concerns.
Confused? Me too. Do the north Wales public oppose the plans on principle, or on grounds of cost? The north Wales force originally said a merger with Cheshire force would make more sense logistically. Do they still think so? And when will the Chief Constable stop contradicting himself?

All information gratefully received.

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