Merging police forces ‘a step too far’ – Welwyn Hatfield MP

WELWYN Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has spoken out against a possible merger of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces.

The housing minister tells today’s Welwyn Hatfield Times that a formal merger, which would involve losing one of the two chief constables, would be “a step too far”.

Mr Shapps, who launched a Keep Police Local campaign earlier this year, said: “The idea we need to completely merge the police service, including getting rid of a chief constable, is just wrong.

“What we still need is a chief constable and police authority that is local to Hertfordshire.”

As reported last week on, Hertfordshire Constabulary chief constable Frank Whiteley and his Bedfordshire counterpart Gillian Parker, are recommending to their police authorities that a “full and voluntary merger” be pursued.

You may also want to watch:

A funding gap of more than �40m over the next four years has to be found, as part of the Government’s savage public sector cuts.

The two police authorities will meet on Friday morning to discuss all available options.

Most Read

* For more coverage of the merger threat, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, out today (Wednesday).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter