‘Blue light’ teams could share space under plan
PUBLISHED: 10:11 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 20 March 2017
A review is under way that could see Cambridgeshire police and the county’s fire service work under the same roof.
The review, which is being conducted by the blue light interoperability board, will indentify locations owned by the police and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service where there is a case for shared use.
It comes after police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite aired his support for greater collaboration just days after he was elected in May last year.
“It doesn’t make sense to retain buildings that the chief constable says are not required operationally. Buildings don’t protect people but people do. Where sites are not required, I will be looking to get the best value to bring in regular revenue streams to generate long-term income,” Mr Ablewhite said.
“As I have stated many times, my priority remains protecting the front line. Changes in policing brought about through new technology and collaboration means that the requirement on police estate has changed.”
Under the work of the board, collaboration opportunities will be looked at across the county with an initial focus on Huntingdon, including the fire service’s training centre.
Within the early stages, Huntingdon fire station and the organisation’s headquarters will also be assessed to see what work, if any, can be undertaken to set up with the police.
The fire service’s deputy chief executive, Matthew Warren, said: “Sharing estates can lead to financial savings and closer working which is a benefit to everyone. We have been a key partner in the making assets count programme with Cambridgeshire County Council for a number of years now and have been open to making our facilities available to partner organisations.”
Documents handed to members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority also revealed that due to financial pressures faced by both services back office services could be merged to support improvements in the front line.
Currently the fire service shares space with police officers in Dogsthorpe, and Peterborough, while the East of England Ambulance Service uses Cambridge Fire Station as a base.
Work is also progressing at Wisbech Fire Station, which could see the local police work from the station.