ARMED police from North Wales will work alongside officers from Cheshire after the formation of a single Armed Policing Alliance.
It follows a decision taken by Cheshire Constabulary and North Wales Police to reinforce their armed policing services by working together.
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.
Working together 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."
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 is well located to allow 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.”
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