Ruffley's dismay at Police merger for Suffolk

Tuesday, 14 March, 2006

'This merged monstrosity will move police resources from rural areas to the region's city crime hotspots'

David Ruffley MP has reacted with concern to the news that Suffolk Constabulary is to be merged with Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Constabularies.

In December of 2005 Suffolk Constabulary declined to volunteer for amalgamation and instead submitted that, if force to merge, they would prefer to join with Essex and Norfolk rather than with all six counties in the Eastern Region.

However, Suffolk Constabulary has confirmed they have received the proposed structure for future policing of Suffolk and that this involves a merger with forces in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

David said:

'This is a dark day for Suffolk. The merged monstrosity will be a disaster.

'Cambridgeshire Constabulary is still going through massive changes following the Soham enquiry and up until March of 2005 it was forced to work with the Home Office to reform its management structure. These problems are so acute that it led the Chief Constable in Suffolk to brand them the 'Billy no mates' of policing.

'Norfolk Constabulary has debts. If Norfolk have mismanaged their accounts and run up huge debts, Suffolk council tax payers should NOT be left to pick up the tab.

'This merger could lead to Suffolk taxpayers paying for second rate services as officers are forced to police crime hot spots such as Peterborough. It is yet another ridiculous piece of bureaucratic nonsense from the Civil Servants in the corridors of Whitehall, many of whom are completely out of touch with rural communities such as Suffolk.'