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Ruffley opposes police merger in the House of Commons
David Ruffley MP has today added his name to Early Day Motion 2013 opposing the merger of Suffolk Constabulary with Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Constabularies.
“Charles Clarke is forcing these reforms through in the face of overwhelming opposition. I hope that this EDM will help again to show the strong opposition to the Home Secretary’s attempts to force these unwanted changes through.
“In the light of the Soham investigation there is a clear case for greater co-operation between forces but this does not require costly wholesale mergers.
“I have repeatedly called for the introduction of a directly elected Police Commissioner for Suffolk. He, or she, would be a “Suffolk Sheriff”. This person would be accountable at the ballot box to local people for the level of crime in their area. Such a move would do far more to focus the police on cutting crime than this ill-conceived regionalisation of our constabularies.
“Cambridgeshire Constabulary is still going through massive changes 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.”
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