PCC welcomes Govt support for blue light integration

The Home Secretary’s recent comments about blue light services working closer together has been well received by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore.

In a recent speech to the ‘Reform’ think-tank Theresa May said that she believed we need to work towards the integration of the emergency services, an ambition matched by Tim Passmore.

Tim Passmore said, “The Chief Constable and I have been in talks with Suffolk County Council to talk about how fire and police services can work closer together. This has been on the government’s agenda for some time but it was promising to hear the Home Secretary echo our thoughts on the matter

“Earlier this year we secured a £60,000 grant from Government to help the Constabulary and the fire service look at plans which could see aspects of the two services, such as back office staff, procurement and community safety, merged.

Under the current system police and fire share several buildings, but new legislation could see the two services, and potentially the ambulance service, being integrated more extensively. At present the police and fire services share stations at Ixworth, Debenham, Framlingham and Elmswell, with plans for further joint stations at Woodbridge, Beccles and Saxmundham.

Mr Passmore said: “We have been given a clear indication that the Government wants us to progress fuller integration of blue light services and I’m certainly up for the challenge. We will also continue to explore sharing resources with other public sector organisations such as health, mental health and local government.”

He added: “Any major change to blue-light services will require legislation, but I think the door has been left very much ajar by the Government for this sort of joint working.

Mr Passmore stressed that he is “clear that these proposals are in the early stages” and any decisions he makes “will be in the best interest for Suffolk as a whole.”