Nottinghamshire Police is moving closer to a strategic alliance with two neighbouring forces in an bid to improve services at reduced costs.
The force has been in talks with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire about forming an alliance since the police and crime commissioners and chief constables for the three forces agreed to consider the move last year.
Following a meeting on March 24, those same senior figures have now asked for a detailed blueprint setting out what operational policing in the three counties would look like if the plan goes ahead.
Nottinghamshire’s PCC Paddy Tipping said the creation of a strategic alliance could provide benefits both in the way policing is funded across the three counties and the quality of the service to local people.
He said: “I’ve always been committed to protecting front-line policing, believing local people want officers to be visible and accountable to them through their neighbourhood policing teams and I won’t change my view on that.
“But policing has changed irrevocably in recent years as forces have adapted to reduced budgets and the challenges of 21st Century crime.”
The latest developments come after the potential partners produced a business case outlining some of the possible benefits of an alliance, including reduced duplication and bureaucracy, unified command structures and the advantages of operating in a borderless environment.
Commissioner Tipping said police budgets would continue to shrink as forces faced further austerity challenges both now and in the future.
Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: “We believe the benefits of a strategic alliance far outweigh those any one force might achieve on their own.
“Not only does it allow significant financial savings, which will enable us to reinvest in the areas of greatest threat and risk, but it will also improve the overall service that we can offer the public, by introducing better ways of working together.”
The blueprint will be developed by a team of senior officers and staff from the three forces. When it is finished it will be tested to ensure it is the most efficient and effective way of operating.
If viable, a full aliance could be in place by 2020.