Northamptonshire Police armed response and dog teams to join with three other forces

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Four East Midlands police forces have agreed to merge their special operations teams, to provide specialist services including search teams, armed response units, dog sections and roads policing officers.

The region-wide service will cover Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, and the commissioners and chief constables said it will “significantly increase the number of officers each force can call upon for specialist assistance as and when required.”

The forces, which already collaborate in many areas of policing, including the investigation of serious and organised crime and homicides, have selected a senior management team to lead the service when it goes live on March 31.

Neil Rhodes, chief constable of Lincolnshire Police, said: “The first point to make is that the public will not notice any discernible difference in the service they receive from their police force.

“Our local response teams will always be first on the scene of an incident or crime.

“What we are doing is creating a greater pool of expertise and specialist skills for each of our forces to call upon when dealing with crime in our communities.

“While each of our individual forces has its own issues and areas of risk that we need to find local solutions to, it does not mean we have to address those issues in isolation and that is very largely what police collaboration is about.

“A single regional structure will give us substantially more flexibility and resources than the old arrangements.”