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Plymouth council boss slams plans to merge Devon and Cornwall and Dorset Police

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans Photo: ITV Westcountry

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans has attacked plans to merge Devon and Cornwall Police with the Dorset Constabulary.

Councillor Evans said the merger, which will create the biggest geographical force in England, is being decided behind closed doors without properly consulting residents or knowing what the implications might be.

A consultation on the proposals is due to finish at the end of this month.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police are on the verge of forcing through the biggest shake up of policing in this region for more than 50 years. Every fibre of my being believes that this merger is a bad thing for Plymouth in its current form and I refuse to stand by and let it happen. Although we have had little information about the plans or what they will mean for Plymouth residents, the information we have got is at best vague. There is no business case available and there is no formal consultation with local authorities that will be affected. Plymouth is the biggest city in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and as such has specific policing needs that we require assurances will be met. We need to know what the implications are for us before it goes ahead.

– Councillor Tudor Evans

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Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Credit: ITV News

Tomorrow I will attend the Police and Crime Panel in Plymouth where elected members nominated by each local authority in Devon and Cornwall will have the opportunity to scrutinise the process so far. I will be joined by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer who will explain the operational case currently being made as part of our considerations into the proposed merger. As PCC I have not yet made a decision as to whether or not we merge with Dorset, and we are still in the formal engagement period. Out of respect to the panel we won’t be making further comment prior to the meeting but interested members of the public are welcome to attend or to watch proceedings via webcast via Plymouth City Council’s website. I would also like to urge everyone to fill in the merger survey which can be found at futurepolicing.co.uk

– Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner