Maria Miller, Mp for Basingstoke, joined up with her parliamentary neighbours to launch a petition to keep Hampshire Police as a dedicated County force. James Arbuthnot, MP for NE Hants and Sir George Young, MP for NW Hants joined her outside Basingstoke Police Station with the petition which will be brought to Westminster.
"We don't believe it makes sense to merge Hampshire with Thames Valley Police Force, as the Home Secretary has proposed. I set out the reasons in a debate in the House of Commons (see http://www.sir-george-young.org.uk/News/pnewsitem.cfm?newsid=2661)"
Speaking on Monday, Sir George said he was relieved that the Home Office had finally decided to leave the county along. "The Government is obsessed by its regional agenda, but there is no appetite for this in Hampshire. We are one of the largest counties in the country, and the police force is, on the Home Office's own admission, large enough to stand alone. The costs and the upheaval of a merger would have been an unwelcome distraction from the police's prime task of preventing and detecting crime."