Friday, 23 January 2015

Proposals for changes to the counties Control Room progressing

The Strategic Alliance between three police forces continues to strengthen following agreement by Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright to progress the Business Case for the collaboration of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Control Rooms.

Having considered an Outline Business Case the three Police and Crime Commissioners and three Chief Constables have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to develop a Full Business Case.   The Full Business Case will look at a collaborated approach to Public Contact services which includes 999 calls, non-emergency contact and crime recording.

Work is now underway to fully develop the proposal to move to fewer locations, possibly one or two, to deliver Public Contact services. The final proposal will be presented in the spring.

If the final proposals are agreed it is anticipated that this will generate savings of at least £5M per annum.

The ambitious Strategic Alliance between the three forces and Police and Crime Commissioners is an on-going programme of work which is helping the three forces meet continued financial challenges over the next few years and reduce the impact of on-going budget cuts on the frontline.

By 2019, it is anticipated that a wide range of further joint operational and organisational support functions will have been established to bring economies of scale and increased resilience.

The three forces have recognised the need to provide the public with alternative ways to contact them and are also exploring ways in which enhanced technology could provide access to key services online.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright said: “This is an important step and represents the next major phase of an historic collaboration between the three forces. Crucially, this agreement will pave the way for Cambridgeshire Constabulary to work more efficiently to meet our tough spending targets while at the same time minimise the impact on local policing in the county. It will help the forces to meet the £68m funding gap over the next four years.

“I am therefore delighted that the Strategic Alliance has been able to come together and agree to further explore the proposal to move to one or two control room(s) serving the three counties.

“The three forces have an established track record of successful collaboration and I am confident that this success can be built on with this agreement.”

Chief Constable Simon Parr added: “The operational and financial advantages of joining specialist units together have already been proven. By collaborating the control rooms we will have greater resilience to deal with emergency and non-emergency calls plus manage demand on policing services.”

In May 2013, the three Police and Crime Commissioners signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to proceed with collaboration in the areas of Organisational Support (eg Finance, Human resources and Learning and Development) and Operational Support (eg Criminal Justice and Force Control Rooms).

Extensive scoping work has highlighted the advantages that extended three-force collaboration can deliver to meet the challenges the forces continue to face whilst protecting frontline policing and service delivery as much as possible.

Future collaboration will support the three force collaboration already in place across a number of Protective Services functions (operational functions that are delivered to support locally-based crime investigation, response and neighbourhood policing, e.g. Firearms and Roads Policing) with these areas also being reviewed and refined.

Each of the forces will also continue to consider further ways in which to create efficiencies within the non-collaborated parts of their business while maintaining a key focus on local policing.