Posted: Mon 30th Jun 2014

Cheshire and North Wales Police join forces to create a single armed response ‘alliance’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 30th, 2014


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From today, Monday 30th June North Wales Police armed response officers will now be able attending incidents in Cheshire, while Cheshire’s armed response teams will be seen at incidents in North Wales.

police firearms

The move follows a decision taken by Cheshire Constabulary and North Wales Police to reinforce their armed policing services by working together, forming a single Armed Policing Alliance.

The Alliance will see officers from both forces working as one to respond to incidents that require armed police attendance in Cheshire and North Wales.

It will mean both forces will be able to respond faster to incidents that require the attendance of armed officers.

Winston Roddick, North Wales Police & Crime Commissioner said:

“At a time when budgets are tight, this important new strategic alliance makes a great deal of sense.

“Through innovative collaboration like this, we can continue to provide enhanced specialist policing to communities across North Wales and reduce costs at the same time.”

John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said:

“This is a good example of how operational collaboration can reduce costs, whilst allowing both Forces to continue to provide enhanced specialist policing to their communities.”

The nearest firearms officers from either force will be sent to incidents – meaning frontline officers will spend less time travelling.

This will free up time enabling them to respond to more calls. 

As well as the Winsford and St Asaph sites, the Alliance will share a new base close to incident hotspot areas along the border.

The base will be located with easy access to the motorway network, cutting travel time to Chester, Warrington, Ellesmere Port, Flint and Queensferry.

When not attending firearms incidents, the officers will target travelling criminals using the roads network and support general policing initiatives.

Head of North Wales Firearms, Superintendent Andrew Williams said:

“This is the culmination of a great deal of work that has taken place between the two forces over the last 18 months. It is a pioneering approach, leading to a firearms provision across both forces, which achieves the required cost savings whilst ensuring the service to the public remains at a high standard. This collaboration will involve the everyday sharing of intelligence and resources to facilitate the effective deployment of armed officers across both regions, and in particular on our border areas in order to combat travelling criminals.

“Whilst we will have fewer officers, new methods of working across the joint unit mean that there will be no reduction in armed response cover. It is an extremely exciting progression and as two forces we are looking forward to working together for many years to come”.

Cheshire’s Head of Uniform Operations, Superintendent, Beverley Raistrick said:

“It’s really exciting times ahead in terms of what we are doing, and an exciting future to have one joint team. For frontline policing this joint working is unique in the North West. Working together will give both forces a stronger and more resilient armed policing service, while making the savings necessary to meet austerity budget cuts.  We will have fewer firearms officers overall, but new working practices mean there will be no reduction in the Armed Response Vehicle cover.”

Incidents that require armed officers are infrequent, and it is very rare for shots to be discharged. But the need to ensure officers with the right skills are available to respond if and when such events do occur remains.

It is planned that across both forces there will be a total reduction of 16 firearms officers by 2016.

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