RESIDENTS are being encouraged to have their say about plans to restructure the local police force.
While Cheshire Constabulary's Chief Constable Peter Fahy has publicly backed the moves, concerns have been raised and members of the public can make their voices heard.
Cheshire Police Authority is undertaking an online consultation after the Government ruled the present 43-force structure must change to effectively tackle serious organised crime, terrorism, critical incidents and public order.
The Government says merging existing forces to create larger regional organisations which could also reduce the cost of policing is the way forward.
Mr Fahy predicts Cheshire Constabulary would continue as a name and operational unit within a new framework; and the neighbourhood policing units in Mid Cheshire managed by an inspector and their team would remain as the basic building blocks. The force's new HQ in Winsford is likely to re-main unaffected by any changes. He said Cheshire was looking at a possible merger with Merseyside because of the strong connections in terms of travelling criminals.
Peter Nurse, chairman of the authority, said: 'This review is an opportunity for Cheshire Constabulary to build upon its commitment to providing locally-based officers known and accessible in local communities and who work to solve problems of crime and disorder.
'We will continue to provide local policing services through our Neighbourhood Policing Units and whilst the changes may mean a period of uncertainty for staff, it will be business as usual for citizens. We want to ensure the impact of these changes on local communities will be minimised.
'Please let us know what you think by completing the online questionnaire on our website, www.cheshirepa.police.uk.'