Police force merger plans cost taxpayer £6.1 million

Over £6 million of taxpayers' money has been spent on preparations for the Government's failed plans to merge police forces south of the border, it emerged today. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show plans to reduce 43 forces to 24 have already cost £6.1 million.

West Mercia, South Wales and North Wales spent £400,000 each, Cheshire £340,000, Devon and Cornwall £320,000 and Sussex almost £500,000.

However, the final bill is likely to be much higher as only 27 forces have provided figures so far. The mergers were proposed last year after a report said the present structure was not fit for purpose. They were halted by the Home Office in July after widespread opposition from police and the public.

£6m of taxpayers' cash spent on failed police merger plan (Edinburgh Evening News, 11 September 2006)