West Mercia Police Authority backs Warwickshire 'alliance'

West Mercia Police Authority has approved plans to share resources with the Warwickshire force in a bid to cut costs.

The plans include sharing support staff and reducing managers and supervisors, while increasing the number of special constables and other volunteers.

The proposals still require approval by Warwickshire Police Authority, which is due to meet on Wednesday.

The West Mercia force said it needed to find £20m in savings by April 2016.

The Warwickshire force also faces savings of more than £10m by the end of the 2015-16 financial year.

'More protection'

Under the plans agreed by the West Mercia authority, both forces would retain their separate identities and separate chief constables, but many other roles would be shared.

Last week the forces appointed two assistant chief constables to operate across both force areas.

Support services such as HR, IT and finance are also expected to be pooled.

Seven geographical areas - Herefordshire, north Warwickshire, north Worcestershire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, south Warwickshire and south Worcestershire - would each be led by a local superintendent.

The plans also include creating a "new estates policy", which could affect individual police stations and front desk operations.

Sheila Blagg, chair of the West Mercia Police Authority, said the proposals were "capable of delivering more protection for communities" than was possible without the alliance.

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