Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire police forces have developed an existing collaborative working agreement into a strategic alliance which may lead to a joint IT department shared by the trio.
This follows a December agreement that allowed the three constabularies to start developing collective approaches in protective services, operational support and organisational support.
A Memorandum of Understanding between Herts, Cambs and Beds chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners was signed in the last month of 2013. It was designed to define clear arrangements and practices that would lead to a good working relationship between the three.
According to press reports, seniors from the three East England forces met earlier this week to discuss continued cooperation between them.
The police forces now say as part of this agreement, a joint IT department is being considered. Between them, they currently employ 175 ICT staff and have a budget close to £20m a year. It is hoped a shared service would be more cost-efficient.
In October 2010, the IT operations at Beds and Herts were merged and at the time, it was said the move towards a single shared IT department would begin in December 2010.
However it seems the constabularies are still considering the best method to create the substantial savings they require.
Reports in the press claim that around £70m needs to be saved to offset a severe funding shortfall and that previously, the three have considered using the Lincolnshire Police outsourcing framework, with security services G4S as the supplier.