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Major force restructure to save more money

Police UniformWEST Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) is due to be merged with the force’s crime and operations teams in April.

The merger, which comes as part of a major restructure to help save £154m by 2017, means that some senior management roles will possibly be cut.

According to the force, the aim is to spread the skills of HMET detectives around other units and to reduce some administrative processes.

The three teams will merge to become a new protective services department. It is understood that detectives who are redeployed as a result of the merger could return to divisional crime investigation departments (CIDs).

Nick Smart, the chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “If this happens their expertise [in CIDs] will still come in extremely useful.”

However, he said it was imperative that West Yorkshire’s response to major crime, which has previously received national recognition for some of its high-profile investigations, did not go “from a Marks and Spencer to a Poundland service”.

He told Police Oracle: “There will be some officers that go as a result.

“Our stance is as long as the frontline delivery is not impacted on, it is okay but if the service level is reduced that would be detrimental not only to the department but also to investigations and the public.”

The overall force restructure is the biggest to hit officers for 30 to 40 years, added Mr Smart.

HMET detectives currently deal with most murder inquiries in the force area but their skills may now be applied to other areas, such as serious crime.

Craig Guildford, assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Within HMET, crime and operations teams we have some highly experienced staff, whose skills need to be used as widely as possible to protect the public.”

Date posted: January 23, 2014

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