South West Regional PCCs Meeting
The creation of a flexible borderless specialist policing team moved a step closer today as the Tri Force Specialist Operations collaboration agreement between Avon and Somerset; Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police forces was officially signed.
The aim of the collaboration is to create a centrally managed specialist policing unit which is intelligence led and able to flex to meet demand at any time or place across the three forces. The combination of firearms, dogs and roads policing teams will enhance each force’s ability to respond at times of need to protect the communities across Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables from the three forces visited another Tri Force collaboration – a new state of the art Specialist Training Centre at Black Rock Quarry, Portishead. The PCCs and Chief Constables planted the final section of the bio-diverse roof on the PFI financed centre to mark the completion of the main structure of the new centre.
Today’s south west regional meeting of PCCs and Chiefs saw a further milestone in collaboration with the official sign-off for a Special Branch collaboration across all five police forces – Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Shared investigative and intelligence functions will come together under central management to cover counter terrorism and domestic extremism across the south west.
Collaboration will enhance the highly specialist protection provided by Special Branch to give a more effective and efficient service, and bring costs down without any reduction in the level or quality of service.
It will offer better value for the public in terms of management of threat and risk in the south west region.
Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, said:
"This is an exciting stage in our three forces working and training together. At a time when we are being asked to make dramatic savings this is the way forward to make our forces as efficient as possible and to enable further resources to be focused in other areas such as Neighbourhood Policing Teams."
Nick Gargan, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said:
“It’s hard to disagree with the concept of collaboration. Neither serious organised criminals nor major transport routes are contained within force boundaries. In times of austerity our ability to flex highly specialist services such as Special Branch to destroy and disrupt serious criminality becomes even more pressing.“
Posted on Wednesday 29th May 2013