Arrest on first patrol by joint Hampshire and Thames Valley roads policing unit

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

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THE first joint roads policing patrol by Hampshire and Thames Valley officers led to an arrest within three hours,

PC Jeremy Lane from Hampshire Constabulary joined PC Alex Holmes from Thames Valley Police on patrol in the Tilehurst area of Berkshire, near the Hampshire border.

It was the first joint patrol carried out as part of a savings bid in the wake of government spending cuts.

The officers handled incidents including a crash, an alarm activation on a security van and issuing fixed penalty notices to drivers caught not wearing seatbelts. They also arrested a motorist in the Thames Valley area who was wanted for number of driving offences.

Superintendent Chris Brown, who leads the unit, said: ‘Our systems are broadly similar, and where they are not, we are working to streamline processes. In this case, for instance, there were no problems with the fact a Hampshire officer had made the arrest but took the prisoner to a Thames Valley custody centre. It is in these border areas where we will really see the benefit of working jointly, and there will be more patrols like this in the future.’

The roads policing unit is part of a new joint operations unit to be shared by both forces – also covering firearms and operations support.

The move is set to save the two forces up to £6.7m a year by April 2012, but will see 119 jobs axed across both forces.

Police say the public will not see a difference in responses to most incidents.

But some officers could be called to attend crashes or other incidents in their neighbouring force area and in areas on the border such as north Hampshire.