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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Police force rejects merger plan
Cleveland Police Authority is backing the creation of a new Tees Valley City Region force rejecting a "super force" to cover much of North East England.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke wants forces across the country to amalgamate to save cash and better use resources.

Northumbria and Durham forces have already given their support to a three-force merger with Cleveland.

But Cleveland Police Authority is calling for a new force covering its current area and southern Durham.

Cleveland Police Authority met on Tuesday night to discuss the options for the future of the force.

Authority Chair Councillor Dave McLuckie said: "We have the opinion of more than 30 stakeholders in the Cleveland and South Durham area who are asking us categorically not to support a regional force.

We felt that a larger police force, staying local, giving local accountability was the way the people wanted us to go
Dave McLuckie, Cleveland Police Authority

"It is not our decision as such - it is after a huge raft of consultations that we've taken the decision."

The proposal would see the Cleveland force increased by more than 1,000 officers and 1,000 staff - giving a total force in excess of 4,500.

Mr McLuckie said: "We felt that a larger police force, staying local, giving local accountability was the way the people wanted us to go, and during 30 meetings over the past 20 days that's what we've been told."

However, Durham's chief constable, Paul Garvin, said this week: "As far as the people of County Durham and Darlington are concerned, the case for a single regional force is, I believe, overwhelming and irresistible."

A final detailed assessment of the favoured proposal must be submitted to the government by 23 December.




SEE ALSO:
Police force backs merger plans
25 Oct 05 |  England


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