Police forces budget Cuts May Prompt Police Force Mergers will have to co-operate much more closely, with some facing the prospect of merging with their neighbours, senior police figures have told Sky News.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners estimates up to £300m could be saved within a few years if forces collaborate in the purchase of equipment.
But informal or more formal mergers between some of the country's smaller forces may be inevitable if they are to deal with another round of Government-led budget cuts over the next few years.
Nottinghamshire Constabulary is one force leading the way in co-operation with some of its neighbours in the East Midlands.
The force, which has a strength of just over 2,000 officers, has begun sharing some specialist services with Northamptonshire and Derbyshire police.
The three forces have also set up a joint procurement division to buy equipment like uniforms.
The man in charge of that joint procurement programme told Sky News it saved £3m in its first year of operation.
By Mark White, Home Affairs Correspondent