Neo: - "Tank, someone's altered the Matrix... find us an exit............ and quickly..................>"
I am 100% positive we've seen this and heard this before...
Ok, so it's nothing new. People get promoted on coming up with hairbrained schemes like this though.. so let's let them "think-tank" it out and come up with the schemes.
You can see it happening anyway, you can SEE that the Home Office and Central Govt are slowly FORCING it to happen. Eventually they WILL win.
At the present you can see it happening because slowly but surely the government is squeezing the budgets of ALL forces. By 2010 when a new government comes in to power it's hardly likely to change a great deal as the money has to be found somewhere to pay for everything else the government has done (like publically funding the banks - sod the banks, let them sack their over paid management and put them in receivership like every other poorly run and top heavy business - why should I be paying for a dead bank?)
Anyway, so government starts tightening the purse strings. Bordering forces start sharing resources such as Southernshire sharing a helicopter with Ruralshire etc.. or Ruralshire sharing their Roads Policing Unit with MoreRuralshire or similar..
Eventually what happens is that because we've shared so many resources already - in an effort to save another 1 million pounds or 5 million pounds or whatever then we might as well bloody well merge because we can save another £20M. What will happen then is that the forces will merge and the govt will slash that 20M off the budget anyway....
Personally speaking I think we have a good point here:
Too many police forces.
Too much beaurocracy.
Too many inconsistencies between neighbouring forces.
Not enough information sharing between forces.
Inconsistency in dealing with or managing offenders.
etc, etc... you could keep going.
So let's merge. Who cares anyway? It's only the BOSSES who will become superfluous when the forces Merge who care.. the rest of us will still have the same streets to patrol as we did the day before.
I propose that we merge in to the following force areas:
Northern (from Hull up to the Scottish borders)
Eastern (from the M1 across)
Western (from M1 across to the Welsh borders)
Metropolitan (everything within and INCLUDING the M25 (because no one else wants a big circular car park))
South Western (from Wiltshire/Hampshire borders across and all the way down)
South Eastern (from Wiltshire/Hampshire borders across)
The Eastern and Western forces would go as far south as the M4. Everything below that would be either SW or SE forces.
Now basically I've given this a lot of thought. I've managed to divde the country in to 8 (yep, read it and weep Mr ACPO man - I beat your 9 force idea) force areas which in my reckoning will save around about a billion pounds a year. So does this make me ACPO material or what?
The way I see it - it is quite easy. The Home Office simply gets a map of the UK and draws lines on it.. says to the forces "right, here's where the dividing lines are.. now get organised.. Staff/Officers on the wrong side of dividing lines will go to other forces etc but hey.. they are still employed! Or perhaps the dividing lines could be run down a county boundary but hey, let's make it easy, a straight line!
There is too much discussion and crapping on about this getting done and they need to just DO IT and get it over with. For those of us on the street it won't matter on iota as we will still be going out catching criminals the day after it all comes in to effect.