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Three Forces continue to move forward with collaboration

Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary (BCH) continue to make progress with their collaboration programme which aims to provide a better, more efficient service to the public and to cut costs.

At a Summit meeting on 28 January, the three Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners formally signed a Section 22 Collaboration Agreement for ICT.  This follows the formal signing of Section 22 Collaboration Agreements at the end of 2016 for Public Contact (which includes control rooms) and the newly collaborated Firearms and Explosives Licensing and Human Resources functions.

This agreement has led to the appointment of Ian Bell as the Head of BCH ICT. The next stage will be to appoint a single Senior Management Team who will have responsibility for both day to day business and the move to a fully collaborated ICT function to support the three forces. The appointment of a Senior Management Team will be subject to staff consultation.

Sir Graham Bright, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, said:  “We continue to make good progress on our collaboration with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary.  The BCH Firearms and Explosives Licensing and BCH Human Resources units both launched on 1 December following staff consultation and are expected to save the three forces a total of £4.5m over the next three financial years

“A further £10m is expected to be saved over a three-year period following the approval in 2015 of business cases for Criminal Justice, Custody, ICT, Information Management and Public Contact, which incorporates force control rooms and crime recording teams. It is anticipated that these units will collaborate in 2016/17.”

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Alec Wood added: “The collaboration of ICT is another step forward in our plans to increase efficiencies across the three forces. 

“Working with one ICT department will not only allow us to realise financial savings, but will increase our resilience and enable us to build on the transformation of police technology we have already made.”

The ambitious Strategic Alliance between BCH is an ongoing programme of work that focuses on the collaboration of operational and organisational support functions as a way of protecting frontline policing while achieving savings to meet the current financial shortfall.

In addition to increased resilience and economies of scale, collaboration is an opportunity to implement best practice and new technology across the three forces and refine processes so local communities benefit from the most efficient and effective services possible.    

This on-going programme of collaboration supports the three force collaboration already in place across a number of Protective Services functions (operational functions that are delivered to support locally-based crime investigation, response and neighbourhood policing, e.g. Firearms and Roads Policing) with these areas also being reviewed and refined.