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A mad idea to merge blue light services.

POLICE Minister Damian Green's suggestion that police, fire and ambulance services have set alarm bells ringing.

Quite rightly so because the idea is - as succinctly put by Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe - completely mad.

Mergers can lead to efficiencies and savings that are no doubt tempting to a Government frantically cutting costs.

But they can also lead to the creation of unwieldy organisations that are hamstrung by bureaucracy and remote from the people they are meant to serve.

That is a bad thing if they are commercial entities flogging goods - but would be even worse were they involved in saving lives, protecting property, preventing crime and nabbing offenders.

Mr Green's suggestion that such super-forces could come under the control of police and crime commissioners is unlikely to reassure people's fears, either, since there is at best apathy and at worst apathy towards these new posts.

The minister has made it clear that he is simply floating an idea.

Here's hoping that he does the sensible thing - lets this barmy notion sink without trace.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 13, 2013
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