England

Hampshire and Thames Valley police to merge services

Hampshire and the Thames Valley police forces have announced plans to merge services in a bid to save £537,000.

Both are facing government cuts of 25%, with Hampshire already planning to axe 1,400 posts to cut £70m from its budget over the next four years.

The forces want to merge parts of their information services, including data protection, freedom of information and record management departments.

A business plan will be drawn up to see how the idea would work in practice.

Staff will be consulted on the plans before they are implemented.

The forces already share parts of their Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) departments.

While Hampshire has scrapped its spotter plane and will instead share two helicopters with the Sussex and Surrey forces.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, who chairs Hampshire Police Authority, said: "We are pleased to be building on our successful collaborations with Thames Valley to deliver further savings especially at a time when public finances are under intense pressure."

Hampshire Police has already admitted a number of the planned job losses will see officers cut.

Thames Valley Police has yet to announce its plans on budget cuts ahead of the government's spending review to be announced next week.

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