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Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Police bill government on mergers
Police recruits
Plans to merger forces across England and Wales were abandoned
Police forces across England and Wales are set to bill the government for the cost of the abandoned merger plans.

Sussex Police Authority has issued an invoice for 1m for costs and West Mercia Police Authority is considering sending a bill for 300,000.

North Wales Police are asking for 375,000, Cleveland and Durham will also ask for costs and Staffordshire is considering sending a bill.

The plans to cut the 43 forces to as few as 17 were abandoned last week.

In submitting an invoice to the Home Office, Sussex Police Authority said considerable expenditure had been incurred over the last 12 months in responding to the proposals.

'Misconceived attempt'

A letter accompanying the bill states: "The payment of this sum will ensure that front line policing in Sussex does not suffer as the result of the misconceived attempt by the former home secretary to enforce a particular way forward against the wishes of the authority, Sussex Police and the communities we have the honour to serve."

West Mercia Police, which covers Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire, mounted a legal challenge to delay the merger plans.

Under the proposals, it would have merged with West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire Police to create one force.

The authority said costs had been incurred in staffing and in the campaign against the proposals.

West Mercia chief constable Paul West said: "The cost of responding to the Home Office's request have not affected the budgets available for front line policing services across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire."

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office will consider any request for additional funding from forces."

Police mergers 'still on agenda'
12 Jul 06 |  UK Politics

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