TWO police forces will share some specialist services after a legal agreement was approved.
The deal between Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police will save a total of almost £2.5 mil- lion between them.
It means firearms units and firearms licensing, dog units, road accident investigation, criminal justice support ahead of court cases, vehicle recovery and parts of road policing will be pooled under a single management team.
The plans were approved in May by Staffordshire and West Mid- lands Joint Police Authority and
the legal agreement has now been rubber-stamped at a meeting in Birmingham.
The changes will be imple- mented over 18 months, with some aspects, such as the single operational dog support unit, being introduced by the end of the year.
West Midlands Police Authority said that the two forces have been exploring a ‘collaboration’ since last year and maintain the plans are not a merger.
A report to the meeting stated: “The current financial climate that is driving the two forces’ necessity to reduce their estab- lishment has led to a redesign of business processes to meet the challenges faced by the public
sector and specifically, the polic- ing services delivered by each force.
“Part of the collaboration pro- gramme’s strategy will ensure the forces are able to deliver service improvement and value for money to our communities in the delivery of policing and to con- tinue to develop as top-perform- ing forces.
“However, it will need to stream- line and prioritise services over the next three to four years in order to reduce its budget and some reduc- tions will be required in both police officer and police staff numbers.”
Further savings will be made through shared training and premises and reduced manage- ment costs.