Ruffley slams Government over police quango shambles and waste of tax payers' money

Monday, 30 October, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today spoken of his outrage at the cost of the abandoned merger of police forces to tax payers in the East of England.

The six forces across the Eastern Region claimed a total of £760,839 to cover the costs of the abandoned force mergers, however, they received a payout of only £468,913 representing a meagre 61 percent of the costs they incurred.

The payouts to Police forces in the East of England were as follows (the figure the forces claimed is given in brackets):

Bedfordshire £23,430 (£23,430)

Cambridgeshire £100,000 (£242,000)

Essex £100,000 (£169,870)

Hertfordshire £100,000 (£144,327)

Norfolk £100,000 (£135,729)

Suffolk £45,483 (£45,483)

East of England total £483,913 (£760,839)

David said:

'These costs show the complete folly of the Government's attempts to force the regionalisation of Police Forces on a public that did not want to see it happen.

'Across the East of England £760,839 was spent paving the way for merged Police Forces, however, a staggering £290,000 of this has not been repaid by the Government.

'This is money that could otherwise have been spent on front line services and to add insult to injury presumably the money that has been repaid will be robbed from the national policing budget.

'Suffolk Constabulary was fortunate to receive the full amount claimed but forces such as Cambridgeshire Constabulary fared less well and received less than half the costs they incurred.

'I opposed these illogical and unwarranted mergers from the outset and had the Government listened, the £4 million they are now paying out to Police Forces across England and Wales could have been spent where it belongs- on frontline policing not unnecessary bureaucracy.'