Sussex Police looks to merge more services with Surrey

The Argus: Sussex Police looks to merge more services with Surrey Sussex Police looks to merge more services with Surrey

Cash-strapped Sussex Police are seeking to appoint a "Head of Change" to make further financial cuts.

The move by both Sussex and Surrey Police forces, which have jointly advertised for the senior management position, will see them work closer together than ever before.

The forces already share some services including forensics, firearms, serious and major crime.

Whoever takes up the new position, which comes with an annual salary of £73,000, will be expected to see if more backroom services can be joined between the two forces.

Sussex Police stressed front-line services and neighbourhood policing would still be delivered locally and a total merger was impossible.

But a spokesman admitted it was too early to know what side of the county line the axe will fall as Sussex Police looks to save £55 million by 2015.

So far the force has saved £31 million but still needs to make up the shortfall ahead of 2015.

The job description for the new role said saving the money was about more than “just cutting jobs or services”.

It added “whilst some of the changes we introduce will be new to policing, many will be familiar to other organisations”, adding the force would look to join with voluntary and private organisations.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Surrey and Sussex Police already successfully collaborate across a number of areas including major crime, forensics, firearms, procurement, fleet, insurance and risk management.

“On October 1 we extended this to a wider range of services across serious crime and operations, involving units made up of officers from both forces. Neighbourhood services continue to be delivered locally, informed by local needs and priorities.

“As part of our programme to modernise the forces and meet the national financial challenge we are continuing to explore opportunities to achieve more by working together.

“The Head of Change Delivery will be shared by both forces and will play a key part in developing and delivering what this looks like.

“The aim of collaboration is to ensure that high quality policing services can be maintained for the public in Surrey and Sussex against a diminishing budget.

“We believe our collaboration enables us to do this, achieving economies of scale and reducing duplication, with the savings made enabling us to protect frontline policing services.”

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