WEST Mercia Police is withdrawing from its "strategic alliance" with the Warwickshire force, which was put in place in 2012.

The announcement was made jointly yesterday by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and the force's Chief Constable Anthony Bangham.

A formal notice of the intention to end the alliance was served to Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner the same morning.

A statement says that the decision has been made "to deliver more effective and efficient services to communities, and ensure the public get better value for money".

A formal process has now started to bring the existing strategic alliance to an end on October 8, 2019.

This will include negotiations with Warwickshire Police to identify where efficiencies may remain and be maximised through a different shared service arrangement.

Mr Campion said: "This has been a carefully considered decision with communities in mind, and both the chief constable and I, are in agreement that this approach will enhance and improve the service.

"How exactly this will look will be shaped over the next year, and this will be worked in detail, with our communities and workforce at the forefront of any decisions."

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "This is a positive start for a new chapter for West Mercia Police, opening up opportunities to deliver more efficient and effective policing services and providing the very best protection to our communities, with a greater focus and clarity at a local level.

"Whilst officers will respond as they always have, local policing will be enhanced, by improved supporting services. Work is underway to shape this, refocusing where collaborative arrangements are currently in place.

"The planning of this will now commence at pace, with immediate effect and we will continue ensure our workforce an

At the time the alliance was formalised, a it was described as a necessity for the two forces to reduce their costs by over £30 million,.

Benefits would also include greater operational and organisational resilience and protecting frontline policing resources.