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FORTY lawyers have signed up for a new UK network aimed at practitioners who advise police forces and authorities.
The Association of Police Lawyers was officially launched last month after operating on an informal basis for eight years.
Chris Porteous, solicitor for the Metropolitan Police, has been named president, John Kilbey, West Midlands Police solicitor, is chair and his counterpart from Cambridgeshire, Howard Llewellyn, is secretary.
Porteous said the organisation would act as a forum for discussion of legal issues which arise during policing.
"As well as providing police with a better legal service it will provide training and help for lawyers who will be able to call upon the expertise of fellow members," he said.
The association is aimed at lawyers employed by Chief Constables or local authority legal advisers working for police authorities, providing a potential membership quota of about 120.
Llewellyn said the group would be based in Cambridge and open to lawyers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They already have links with lawyers in Canada and the US. He added that new legislation had created the need for more police advisers.