Fire service and police vow to work closer together

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Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service and Northamptonshire Police will work together more closely in future, police commissioner Adam Simmonds has vowed.

He said the organisations already work in partnership across a number of areas including incident response, training and campaigns to improve resilience and community safety in the county.

And he insisted it was a no-brainer they should co-operate to a greater extent in the future.

A statement released yesterday (Wednesday, February 13) by the county council said that by strengthening this relationship, both emergency services can work together to explore new opportunities to provide greater emergency and community services while also ensuring the best value for money for Northamptonshire people.

County council cabinet member for fire and public protection Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage said: “Closer working between Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police makes very good sense - not just for both organisations, but for the people of Northamptonshire too.

“In fact, in our recent IRMP consultation, 97 per cent of respondents backed the idea of the fire and rescue service working more closely with other local blue light organisations.

“The financial challenges we are all facing in the public sector mean that local services need to find new ways to work smarter and improve our capacity so that we can continue to improve the services we provide and make Northamptonshire a safer place for everyone.”

Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds agreed, saying: “The police and fire services both work tirelessly to protect people and property.

“They already work together well and this move will enable closer working to be developed. In time this will potentially produce significant benefits for the people of Northamptonshire.

“Since they turn up to a lot of the same incidents, why can’t we operationally merge as much as possible? We would start by bringing the offices of the chief fire officer in to the same building as the chief constable. Office space, planning of our resources – to me it’s an amazing opportunity. It’s about whether operational staff should be part of the same management team.

This is the start of a journey that we have decided to go on together. This is all about making the front-line service provision more efficient. It’s a no-brainer for me.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue said: “There are wide ranging discussions taking place with Northamptonshire Police to explore opportunities of how we could work more closely together in the future in order to meet the needs of our communities. It is too early to say how this will manifest itself and there are no concrete plans or proposals on the table. There are many opportunities open to us in the future through this initiative and we are keen to explore these in partnership.

“The safety of the public remains at the top of our agenda and so any work together which would increase this is always something we would be keen to look into.”

No more details about the ‘closer working’ have been released yet.