Chiefs fail to back merging of forces
SENIOR police officers believe "the case still has to be made" that a single police force is the best way of tackling the looming budget crisis.
Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House has lobbied in recent weeks for creating one force to cover the whole of Scotland.
But Scotland on Sunday has contacted the other seven forces and failed to find a single counterpart willing to endorse the views of Chief Con House.
Many made the point that it was one of a number of options which need to be considered, but several were more interested in sharing services locally, or with neighbouring forces, as previously proposed by Chief Constable David Strang of Lothian and Borders in Scotland on Sunday, rather than a total amalgamation.
One senior officer said: "The big thing about a single force is we're never going to get to it without spending a fair bit of money."
Scottish police forces are facing budget cuts of up to 25 per cent over four years and are even considering forcing senior officers to retire in a bid to cut costs.
However, Chief Constable Ian Latimer, of Northern Police, who has previously warned crime rates will rise in rural areas if a single force is introduced, was more conciliatory, saying: "The force will fully engage in the national discussions around potential measures to address the budget cuts across Scotland's police forces."
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