29th May, 2020

Warwickshire Police to receive £10.5million merger pay off

Ian Hughes 31st Mar, 2020

WARWICKSHIRE Police will receive a £10.5million pay off from West Mercia Police following the ending of the strategic alliance between the two forces.

It will cover the costs of separating services previously shared after the ‘divorce’ between the forces initiated by West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion who said it was to provide the public with better value for money.

The majority of services will have separated by the beginning of April, but further agreements were required for the forces to deliver four key services together to ensure a smooth transition and until new collaborations or arrangements were established.

The new collaboration agreements cover information technology, forensic services, transactional services – which include human resources and payroll – and file storage facilities

These agreements cover from April 2020 to April 2021 and, if necessary, beyond.

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I am pleased we have been able to reach a settlement with West Mercia and have an agreed way forward which guarantees no disruption to the continuity of policing services in Warwickshire.

“During the current CoVID-19 public health emergency, it is important that both forces are in a position to focus fully on what is needed to support their local communities.

“This agreement means that Warwickshire Police will receive a fair settlement which recognises the considerable costs that we have already had to bear in re-establishing services within the county since the alliance termination decision was made by West Mercia.”

Warwickshire Chief Constable Martin Jelley was equally pleased the matters had been resolved.

He added: “We can now move forward, ensuring our full focus can be on providing the best and most efficient services for our communities.”

Payments of the £10.5 million will be made by West Mercia in three instalments over 15 months, with the majority being paid up front.

Warwickshire Police was due to pay West Mercia Police £270,000 for the running costs of the shared services after they were extended from the original planned date of the end of the alliance last October and the beginning of April 2020. This has now been written off.

The forces merged services including firearms, police dog officers, IT, HR and communications in 2013, saying they would save £30million by 2015. Warwickshire Police said the alliance had saved more than £35million.

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