Cross-border police scheme to be disbanded

PUBLISHED: 15:02 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:49 01 June 2010

A PIONEERING cross-border policing initiative set up with £600,000 of Home Office funding in the wake of the Tony Martin case is set to be disbanded, it was revealed this week. The Fens project, which was set up in 2001, in the aftermath of the Fenland fa

A PIONEERING cross-border policing initiative set up with £600,000 of Home Office funding in the wake of the Tony Martin case is set to be disbanded, it was revealed this week.

The Fens project, which was set up in 2001, in the aftermath of the Fenland farmer's trial for shooting dead a burglar and wounding his accomplice, aimed to boost cross-border co-operation between Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire constabularies.

But the project, which was later named the Fens Intelligence Unit, will now be disbanded because the three forces believe there are now a number of other similar initiatives already in place effectively doing the same job.

Lincolnshire pulled out of the initiative in March and following recent talks Norfolk and Cambridgeshire have now also decided to call it a day.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Malcolm Moss said there should have been more consultation and discussion over the future of the unit.

He said: "I understand the funding ceased in 2003, but the three county forces agreed to keep it going.

"This is a very important issue locally and this potentially could be a bad thing."

Det Chief Insp Simon Constant, central division crime manager, said: "The Fens intelligence unit was an excellent initiative set up for a specific purpose six years ago. During that time, the methods of delivering the necessary policing response have developed hugely with new intelligence functions being established to focus on cross border crime.

"Another dedicated team, the Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) has been set up tackling crime affecting the more rural communities and now specific neighbourhood policing teams are in place dealing with crime and community issues on a local level."

He added: "In taking the decision to disband the Fens intelligence unit, residents can rest assured that it will not lessen the level of service they receive.

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