There is a statutory duty to collaborate for the three emergency services. This means that the services should be actively seeking opportunities to work together to deliver more efficient and effective public services. In Northamptonshire we have gone further by bringing police and fire and rescue under my governance as the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
My business case to take on the governance for fire and rescue was clear that I expected to see integration between police and fire and rescue to reinvest in frontline services. It is my expectation that the following areas will be delivered during the life of this plan:
Our areas of focus:
Shared Enabling Services
It does not make sense that both police and fire and rescue have their own support services such as finance, human resources, ICT or facilities management. These services are essential to any organisation but do not require separate functions. I believe that by bringing enabling services together I can ensure a more effective service is provided to the frontlines of both organisations, providing them with the information they need, when they need it to make better decisions. I expect to see significant progress over the life of this plan.
Shared Estates Strategy
Together police and fire and rescue have in excess of 50 buildings. In many cases the two buildings are located in the same town within metres of each other. Every penny
that is spent on maintaining the buildings is not spent on frontline services.
Therefore it is my intention to develop a shared estates strategy that will reduce the duplication of buildings in the same locations so that police and fire colleagues increasingly share buildings.
A key part of the strategy will be to redevelop the Wootton Hall headquarters site to be a fit for purpose headquarters for both services, including seeking to develop a shared control room. Included in this redevelopment will be opportunities for ambulance to also
co-locate if that proves to be in the best interests of the service and the public.
Shared Prevention Approaches
The most vulnerable in our communities are vulnerable to more than one thing. I want to see the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer bring forward a new prevention strategy and plan across the two organisations to best support the most vulnerable in our communities.
Police, fire and rescue and ambulance have been working on various interoperability matters since 2013. I want to see this activity increased over the life of the plan and expect to see further ideas brought forward by police and fire and rescue, involving ambulance as appropriate, to provide more efficient and effective services to the public.