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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 08:51 GMT
Police chief vows to fight merger
Police officers
Cleveland Police is against a three-way merger
The head of policing on Teesside has met the Home Secretary to spell out his opposition to plans to merge three forces in the north-east of England.

Chief Constable Sean Price of Cleveland Police outlined to Charles Clarke proposals for two "city" forces for the north and south of the region.

Afterwards, he said the meeting had been constructive.

Northumbria and Durham police favour the creation of a "superforce", but the Cleveland force has vowed to fight it.

A three-force merger has been proposed as part of a restructuring project which could see the number of UK police forces drop from 43 to 12.

However, a recent poll carried out for the Cleveland authority in the Tees Valley and County Durham areas found a single regional force was the first choice of only 8% of those surveyed.

'Powerful case'

The chairman of the Cleveland Police Authority, Councillor Dave McLuckie, and local MPs Vera Baird, Frank Cook and Dari Taylor were also at the meeting at the Home Office on Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Constable Sean Price said: "It was a very constructive meeting and at the very outset the Home Secretary made it clear that reports suggesting a regional force for the North East is a done deal are completely false.

"I was able to convey the concerns that the public and local businesses have raised with me at local consultations.

"After also listening to representations from the chairman of the Police Authority and local MPs, he said the case for a Tees Valley City Force was powerful and it is a case he will consider very carefully before any final decision is reached."

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07 Dec 05 |  England
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