The leader of Mebyon Kernow has hit out at the suggestion that Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police could merge, and challenged central government to properly fund policing in Cornwall.

Chief Constables Shaun Sawyer and Debbie Simpson issued a statement this week saying that deep cuts to their funding by the current government had forced the two forces to work more closely.

According to the party for Cornwall, the two officers had said "the merger was inevitable", although in fact they had said there cuts meant closer working was "the only way forward."

In a statement on Thursday, Cornwall Councillor Dick Cole of Mebyon Kernow said: “Prior to the Conservatives coming to power in 2010, they promised to protect policing. The then-shadow home secretary Nick Grayling pledged to put ‘more police on the street … fighting crime and protecting local communities.’

“But since then, public desks at police stations have closed, the number of police officers has fallen drastically, PCSOs are being phased out and now we have added insult of a proposed merger of forces – with the blame being placed on government under-funding.

“These broken promises have had a devastating effect on local policing and the Westminster parliament should be ashamed.”

Mebyon Kernow is calling on local people to oppose the merger and to challenge central government to provide increased funding for a Cornwall Police Force.