New commissioner considers name change for force

A POLICE force could cease to exist under radical plans being proposed by one of Yorkshire’s new crime commissioners.

Humberside Police commissioner Matthew Grove said he was considering changing the name of the force to Humber Police after picking up widespread resentment to the existing name during his election campaign.

Coun Grove, who begins his first day in office tomorrow, said: “We all know that the people of North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire do not like the name Humberside. Humberside ceased to exist in 1996 and Humberside was imposed on the people of North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire by faceless politicians in London and it took us 20 years to get rid of it.

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“Some would say it’s just a word but to the people of this area, it has very negative connotations. There’s no such thing as Humberside; there are the people of North Lincolnshire and the people of East Yorkshire and they are very proud people.

“Through my campaign one of the most common things people said to me was they resented the name. There is an option to change but it’s at the very bottom of my priority list and I will not spend significant sums on it.”

He added: “My view is it would be very simple to remove four letters to be Humber Police and not Humberside. As we are only losing four letters, if that’s something we can do as the paper runs out or as each vehicle is replaced we can get the detail changed.

“It’s a symbolic thing but I think it’s a symbolic thing that’s important to the people of this area. My only concern is if there are expensive legal costs it’s not something I’m willing to do. I’m going to find out what I can do and what the cost implications are.”

Coun Grove, who will begin his tenure by going out on the beat in Grimsby with officers from the East Marsh Neighbourhood Policing Team tomorrow, also said he was “urgently” reviewing plans to build a new £7.8 million police office in Melton, near Brough, to house operational and support staff.

He said the cost of the building could pay for “an awful lot of frontline policing”, adding: “The public want police out on the street policing them, they want police stations that are open they can walk into.”

He also suggested the force’s estates and fleet management functions could be shared with local councils.

Humberside Police was created in 1974, succeeding forces including Hull City Police, part of the areas of the York and North East Yorkshire Police, the old Lincolnshire Constabulary and the West Yorkshire Constabulary.