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Revolt over police force merger plan.

POLICE leaders are mounting a massive challenge to the government proposals to create "super forces".

One of the largest mergers would mean West Midlands force, which includes Coventry, joining with Warwickshire, Staffordshire and West Mercia.

If that went ahead it would create a regional super force of 15,000 officers and 7,500 police staff.

But today, senior police officers from across England and Wales were attempting to win MPs' support to scupper the plans.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke wants to cut the 43 forces to as few as 12.

But the Association of Police Authorities (APA) accused him of trying to "divide and rule" forces.

Today, APA officials were meeting MPs to voice their opposition to the plans.

In an unprecedented revolt before Christmas, the bodies ignored a deadline set by Mr Clarke to submit detailed plans for mergers.

West Midlands and Warwickshire are among 13 forces - fewer than a third of the current structure - who want to take part in a merger, according to APA figures.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 25, 2006
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