June 20, 2006

New obstacle for police mergers

Plans to merge police forces could face an extra hurdle after a new defeat for the government in the House of Lords, reports the BBC.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers secured the fresh victory over the government by passing an amendment to the Police and Justice Bill.

Laws passed in 1996 mean police forces can be merged if the home secretary thinks it is efficient or if the police authorities, made up of councillors, magistrates and other local people, want it to happen.

But the new amendment would allow mergers to go ahead only if both conditions are met.
The Tory shadow minister Baroness Anelay said:
"The government say they are in favour of neighbourhood policing and local accountability. We support that.

"They say they want an overall force that is fit for purpose in the 21st century. We support that too.

"But then they career off on the wrong course and insist that police forces should merge even when local forces are against it."
More here.

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