Home News Home Secretary announces intention to merge emergency services

Home Secretary announces intention to merge emergency services

by Brian Sims

The need for further public sector spending cuts by the Government will mean integrating the police, fire and ambulance services such that the ‘still large fiscal deficit’ can be reduced, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced. In a speech given at Think Tank Reform on 3 September, the Home Secretary stated:” With a still large deficit and a record stock of debt, there will need to be further spending cuts. In the policing landscape of the future, I believe we will need to work towards the integration of the three emergency services.” May said that the next and” even tougher” challenge is” how we can reduce demand for public services through smarter policy. The need to go on reforming will not end with this Parliament.” It’s thought that while front line services may not change, there could be ways in which to share back office functions and be located on the same site. Some localities have already started to merge services. Theresa May referred to Northamptonshire, where Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has launched joint operations planning teams involving both the police and fire services. Indeed, Simmonds has been a great supporter of integration and has spoken about the future possibility of sending just one emergency vehicle to the scene of an accident which would be equipped to deal with a variety of situations. Earlier this year, (then) fire minister Brandon Lewis outlined some examples of where plans to share blue light services have been put in place in order to save money. These included a predicted saving of

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