Combining police and fire back office functions is sensible, says Staffordshire’s Crime Commissioner

Plans to combine police and fire service back office functions are about making “sensible” decisions, according to Staffordshire’s Crime Commissioner.

Matthew Ellis has previously called for greater links between emergency services – a view that was echoed by a Home Office minister who said control rooms should be merged.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis

However, the Fire Brigades Union has previously questioned whether such changes would work.

But Commissioner Ellis insists integration would not come at the cost of frontline services.

“The core purpose of both the police and fire services is to protect people and prevent harm,” he said. “It’s within the very corporate DNA of each organisation.

“These proposals are not about police officers carrying hoses and firefighters carrying truncheons. They’re about being sensible and exploring ways to combine back offices and support services to make sure all available money goes towards supporting frontline firefighters and frontline police officers.”

The Commissioner added that financial challenges meant all emergency services need to find savings.

“Duplication of support services which carry out the same functions in both police and fire is not an effective use of the available resources that could go towards frontline police and fire services,” he said.

“We need to crack on with work on a business case to understand the benefits and challenges of integration.

“This is about doing what is best to keep people safe as well as spending public money more effectively than ever before.”

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