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Police Collaboration Proposals Progressed for Custody and Criminal Justice

Two police collaboration projects are being progressed following a meeting of the Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH). Outline business cases (OBCs) for Custody and Criminal Justice were considered at the Strategic Alliance Summit yesterday (Wednesday 24 June) and preferred proposals agreed for both.

Under the proposals, a collaborated Criminal Justice function would fully support victims and witnesses by placing their needs at the heart of the Criminal Justice process.

The proposals also aim to make processes more efficient, which would assist with bringing offenders to justice by ensuring the timely submission of quality case files to the Crown Prosecution Service. If approved, the proposals would maximise the use of IT solutions and be delivered by working closely with Criminal Justice agencies.

Under the Custody proposals, a consistent and efficient operating structure would be introduced across BCH, supported by new technology and additional equipment where possible.

Both projects form part of a Strategic Alliance between the three forces, which is focusing on collaboration as an effective way of protecting frontline policing while helping to meet a predicted funding shortfall of £56.6m across BCH between now and 2019/20.

Simon Parr, Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire, said: “This is an important step forward as the three forces continue to work together to find significant savings in the years ahead. We are committed to delivering the best possible Custody and Criminal Justice provision and will be taking on board the views of staff, the public, other forces and industry leaders as we look to progress collaboration proposals for these two functions.”

Sir Graham Bright, PCC for Cambridgeshire, added: “While clearly all three police forces need to deliver financial efficiencies, it’s equally important that the service provided meets the needs of victims, witnesses and detainees.  This latest agreement presents an opportunity to improve service provision while helping us to meet the financial challenges we face – thereby helping to protect local frontline police services.”

More detailed design work will now start on the preferred Custody and Criminal Justice proposals before full business cases are presented to the Summit later this year.