South Yorkshire and Humberside police forces have announced plans to share more resources and work more closely together.
A new strategic partnership has been agreed which will extend collaboration between the forces in a bid to make it easier to meet budget cuts.
The forces’ police and crime commissioners, Dr Alan Billings and Matthew Grove have agreed to share support services in a bid to try and protect front line officers.
The forces’ senior command teams will now put together a joint team to look at further collaboration but said the move is not a merger.
Dr Billings said: “All police forces across the UK are struggling with the continued cuts to the policing grant. We now have to look to do things more efficiently and smarter.”
“I am extremely pleased to be collaborating with Humberside Police and look forward to working with Matthew to implement some highly effective efficiency savings.”
Matthew Grove, Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner said: “My priority is to ensure that the outcomes of my Police and Crime Plan; namely to reduce crime, improve support to victims and protect the public are delivered whilst balancing the budget and ensuring value for money. I am prepared to examine all potential opportunities that allow these outcomes to be delivered.
“Clearly, in a time of austerity we must protect the number of frontline officers and staff as much as possible to deliver an effective police service for our residents. This enhanced partnership will explore all opportunities to do that.”
The immediate next steps are to explore what is feasible, what savings are achievable and how service to the public can be maintained. In some highly specialised areas the two forces working together may be able to improve the capability to keep our communities safe.
A separate agreement has been reached between South Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police to develop a joint Specialist Operational Service, which covers areas such as firearms and roads policing.
This will sit alongside existing regional collaborative arrangements that are already in place such as those for scientific support and serious and organised crime.