Chudleigh Town Council
Chudleigh Town Hall, Market Way, Chudleigh, Devon TQ13 0HL
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Proposal for Devon & Cornwall Police to merge with Dorset Police

The two police forces have announced a proposal to merge the two forces with effect from May 2020. Details of the proposal and the reason for it are listed below.

We are now entering a period of public consultation which will run until 27 August 2018. A survey form, which will take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete, can be found at

What is the proposed merger?

Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police have been in a strategic alliance since 2015.

Due to their similar policing styles, values and priorities - as well as strong links with communities and the shared rural, coastal and urban geography - the two forces now work together across the three counties and are working towards an alliance approach in over 30 areas of policing.

Thanks to the hard work of officers and staff there are successful collaborations in some critical areas, such as roads policing, firearms, armed response vehicles and dog units.

Supporting functions like finance, human resources and IT are also part of the alliance.

In September 2017, the two chief constables announced plans to investigate how the alliance could grow and to consider a full merger between the two forces – to consider if a merger would be a practical progression and whether becoming one force would provide a more resilient police service to our communities.

A merged police force will differ from the alliance – the new force would become one legal entity where two currently exist. There would be one chief constable with one chief officer team, one police and crime commissioner with one team of support staff and one Police and Crime Plan.

A full business case will be presented to the Home Office in October with a decision in principle expected by the end of the year.

If approval is given the proposal will go to Parliament. Full permission to merge will need to be obtained by the beginning of November 2019 in order to tie in with the 2020 PCC elections.

The new force would come into effect in May 2020. If this deadline is missed, change cannot happen statutorily until 2024.

What are the benefits of the proposed merger?

  1. By working closer together, cutting duplication and making the most of our combined resources, a merger would help preserve local and neighbourhood policing, protect our communities and improve the service we deliver to the public.
  2. A merged force would provide a single vision that would continue to deliver future savings, by merging rather than continuing with an alliance. We would increase the amount of savings we can make, allowing us to be more innovative and transform the way we deliver our services.
  3. A merger would create the fifth largest force in the country, giving us and you a stronger national voice.
  4. Working together is the best way to meet the challenge of emerging threats and to operate more effectively, both now and in the future.
  5. A single leadership will reduce the number of chief officers and police and crime commissioners: One Police and Crime Plan, one vision, one mission.
  6. Each county will have its own headquarters providing higher local visibility and accountability.
  7. 25% of our staff are already operating within our strategic alliance, including some areas of specialist policing.