A UNIQUE frontline collaboration is set to strengthen armed policing in Cheshire.

Cheshire Constabulary and North Wales Police have taken the decision to reinforce their armed policing services by working together, creating 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.

By working together the forces can respond faster to incidents, cutting travel time. 
When not attending firearm incidents, the officers will target travelling criminals using the roads network, and supporting general policing initiatives.

Head of Uniform Operations, Superintendant Beverley Raistrick, said: “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 practises 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.