New police corruption watchdog launched

A NEW police professional standards unit was launched yesterday (Monday) to oversee the forces in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Each area previously had its own unit, but the joint group will help the three forces save about �640,000 a year.

The unit is responsible for ensuring the police service is free from corruption, and that complaints against police or allegations of misconduct are efficiently and effectively managed and investigated.

It will be based in Biggleswade and will include staff taken from all three police forces. There will also be investigation teams in each force to conduct investigations and support local investigators.

Simon Parr, Cambridgeshire’s Chief Constable, said: “At a time when the police service nationally is being held to account for its integrity it is vital we have a strong team ensuring standards are maintained and any complaints about the conduct of our officers and staff are properly dealt with.

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“Creating a single professional standards unit is helping us to meet the Government’s demanding financial cuts in a way that contributes towards maintaining the numbers of police officers and PCSOs serving local communities on the frontline.”

The move is part of a ‘strategic alliance’ between the three forces and police authorities which aims to save the police money following a reduction in funds from central Government.

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The three forces have agreed to merge the armed policing, major crime and scientific services units.

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