Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 08:59 UK

Joint police firearms unit set up

Armed officer
A joint firearms support unit is to be set up starting in July

Two police forces are to set up a joint firearms support unit saving about £437,000 from their individual budgets.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities have given the go-ahead for the project to start in July this year.

The unit will have operational bases at Welwyn Garden City and Kempston where there will also be a training facility.

Officers will be deployed across the two counties as required. The forces have a number of joint operations including a combined major crime unit.

Peter Conniff, chair of Bedfordshire Police Authority, said: "The project will lead greater efficiencies, particularly in relation to training, which is obviously vitally important in this area of work.

"The collaborative initiatives already in place have shown that working together in this way can enable the two forces to deliver a more efficient and resilient policing service to our communities."

Chairman of Hertfordshire Police Authority, Stuart Nagler, said: "We were particularly impressed with the detailed work that has already been undertaken by the two forces to align firearms policies and procedures in advance of the new joint unit being set up.

"The work we are doing can only strengthen both Hertfordshire Constabulary and Bedfordshire Police Force."

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