By Harriet Ernstsons Monday 19 August 2013 Updated: 21/08 14:17
POLICE chiefs have denied claims they are set to merge Warwickshire and West Mercia forces.
The two forces formed an alliance in 2011 in a bid to save £30 million but chief constables Andy Parker from Warwickshire and David Shaw from West Mercia have confirmed talks are taking place about joining the two, with future plans possibly including the introduction of one chief overseeing both forces.
A spokesman for West Mercia Police said there were 'no plans' for a merger at this time.
"We continue to focus on delivering the alliance which has most of the benefits of a merger without losing the individual identities of the two forces.
"Our alliance with Warwickshire has been described by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as 'ambitious and ground-breaking', enabling us to make significant savings and reduce crime.
"We continue to look for ways to make further savings and improve service, and there are ongoing discussions with the PCCs on how this may be achieved.
"The issues of single leadership and merger have featured in discussions but the PCCs have made it very clear that there will be no merger during their terms of office, a position which is supported by both forces."
Bill Longmore, police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, added: "There are no plans at present to merge the two forces.
"The alliance enables us to achieve huge savings across both forces, while continuing to deliver the best possible protection for local communities."
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