Nottinghamshire police to merge divisions to cut costs

image captionChief Constable Julia Hodson has vowed to protect local policing

Nottinghamshire police force will merge its four county divisions into two in a move to cut costs.

The police authority has agreed to the move despite concerns about the impact on rural areas.

The restructuring will save money in management posts as the force aims to cut up to £56m in the next four years.

Chief Constable Julia Hodson said they were determined to protect local policing and not reduce the number of beat officers.

Firearms teams

The police authority believes the level of cuts could mean the loss of 800 posts in the next four years.

The force will now have two divisions - one for the city and another for the county.

New regional forensics and firearms teams could be in place by next April.

The Labour group on Nottinghamshire County Council said the shake-up "could well be a "disaster" for rural policing.

Authority member Alan Street said cutting administrators simply meant front-line police officers might have to do those office jobs instead.

Forces from across the East Midlands are also considering collaborating in many ways including sharing murder detective squads and computer systems.

Former police authority chairman John Clarke has described the cuts as "a green light to criminals".

Chief Constable Julia Hodson said the police had to prioritise and she has guaranteed to protect neighbourhood policing teams.

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