Yesterday the Home Office announced that Brandon Lewis MP (Minister for Policing and the Fire Service) has awarded £1m from the Police Transformation Fund to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to develop proposals to take on the additional responsibility for the governance of fire and rescue in their areas.
The nine PCCs receiving funding are: Sussex, West Mercia, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 places a duty on police, fire and ambulance services to collaborate better, and enables Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to take on responsibility for fire and rescue services where a local case is made.
Henry Rex, techUK's Programme Manage for Justice & Emergency Services, said of the announcement:
"This funding to support closer collaboration between police and fire services is very welcome indeed. Better collaboration will not only improve response time to incidents, but will also reduce duplication and inefficiencies in these critical public services.
Technology is the key enabler to closer collaboration, with enormous potential to be realised from integrated and interoperable systems. Hopefully this funding will allow PCCs to explore how they can overcome the main technical and organisational obstacles to effective collaboration, leading to examples of best practice that other Forces can follow."