Warwickshire and West Mercia PCCs back sharing services

The new police and crime commissioners for Warwickshire and West Mercia have given their support to services being shared between the two forces.

Ron Ball and Bill Longmore said continuing with the alliance was the best way to achieve the combined target of cutting more than £30m.

The deal would mean back office services are shared between the forces.

Simon Payne, of the Warwickshire Police Federation, said there was "no alternative".

In June the forces appointed two assistant chief constables to serve both constabularies.

One was employed to cover local policing while the other handles "protective services".

Both forces already share a number of services with others forces, including police air support and counter-terrorism work.

The two PCCs, who took up their posts last week after both standing as independent candidates in the election, said that "radical changes" had to be implemented to make the necessary savings.

They said they had both met their chief constables earlier and were confident they would be able to keep to the budget proposals.

'Draconian cuts'

Mr Longmore, the West Mercia PCC, said: "We both recognise the hard work and efforts which have gone into the progress reached to date."

Mr Payne, whose organisation represents rank-and-file officers, said it was a positive thing "that we have two independent candidates who seem to agree with each other".

He said: "There is no alternative than to look at things like this to ensure we can continue to deliver an efficient policing service in the face of these - and any new - draconian cuts.

"But we need to remember that policing is not just about cutting crime.

"Just looking at the recent flooding, you can see how vital our cops were in those situations, and that is something those in charge of our forces - and government ministers - need to realise."

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