Poll: Over half oppose police merger

New plans will cut police forces from 43 to 17
New plans will cut police forces from 43 to 17

Over half of those affected oppose new government plans to merge police forces in England and Wales.

In a poll carried out by Populus, 58 per cent of people surveyed opposed the merger plans. Opposition was strongest in the east midlands and the south-west at 60 per cent.

People in the west-midlands and the north-east were least against the merger, but still opposed the government's controversial plans by 56 per cent.

The proposals were made by former home secretary Charles Clarke and aimed to merge police forces across England and Wales. The move will reduce the number of forces across the region from 43 to create 17 "super forces". Although Manchester and London will remain unaffected by the changes.

It is thought that the restructure could come at a cost of about 25,000 police officers. The poll was carried out for independent think tank Policy Exchange and follows the publication of a report which called the proposed merger "unpopular" and "unworkable".

Head of research at Policy Exchange James O'Shaughnessy said: "The results of our poll are unequivocal. The Government's proposed police force mergers are unpopular in all the regions affected.

"The Association of Chief Police Officers is already making contingency plans to replace 25,000 police officers with community support officers to offset the £500 million national cost of restructuring.

"Local residents know that merging police forces will mean fewer police, less accountability and less attention paid to local crime. Home secretary John Reid must act to stop these plans now."


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