Joint release from PCC John Campion and Chief Constable Anthony Bangham:
West Mercia Police has reached agreement with Warwickshire Police over future service provision and settlement costs, following termination of the £300m strategic policing alliance that has been in place since 2012.
West Mercia and Warwickshire had worked to resolve the issues of bringing the strategic alliance to an end since notice was served in October 2018 however, when a mutual agreement couldn’t be made, an independent team was brought in by the Home Office to advise. Their advice highlighted a number of areas for the provision of hosted services and for an agreement of reasonable termination costs.
This sees West Mercia providing transactional, forensic services and file storage on a service provider basis for 18 months. This means the two forces will continue to collaborate on IT services. The new agreements to provide service and collaboration are at no cost to West Mercia as they are on a full cost recovery basis. By agreeing this deal, West Mercia Police has helped ensure that Warwickshire Police is sustainable.
Both forces have also agreed on a settlement figure of £10.5m as a full and final payment. This figure is lower than was recommended by the Home Office’s independent body and significantly lower than the amount requested by Warwickshire. As part of exiting a £300m policing alliance, this settlement is good value for money for the communities of West Mercia and will pay for itself in short order. It will also be paid in instalments over two financial years from reserves and efficiencies.
Ending the alliance comes at a short term financial cost but enables our police force to fully utilise its resources, keeping the communities of West Mercia safe and unlocking the massive potential to deliver improvements in efficiency and effectiveness. It is vital that West Mercia Police is able to respond to the challenges and demand, which couldn’t be more important right now in the current climate.
Issued on: Monday 30th March