Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

Suffolk: PCC Tim Passmore stops merged control room in its tracks

PUBLISHED: 19:26 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 19:26 30 April 2014

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore

Archant

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore today refused to let Suffolk’s police control room be relocated and merged with Norfolk.

In one fell swoop he destroyed the plan for a centralised 999 centre for the two counties for the foresseable future.

Mr Passmore announced his decision at a meeting of the Norfolk and Suffolk Collaboration Panel at Norfolk police headquarters in Wymondham.

His Norfolk counterpart Stephen Bett had been keen for the proposal to go ahead in order to save the cash-strapped constabularies £1.84million a year.

Mr Passmore told the meeting: “I’m extremely concerned about the level of risk (of merging the control rooms).

“It’s the biggest decision I’m going to have to make in my life. Merging a control room is a very, very big and perhaps a final step.

“I also accept the financial challenge we face in Suffolk and Norfolk is unprecedented.

“But I do think there are opportunities if we look at policing and wider areas of work.

“We have to make sure that we do everything we can to make the police force effective as well as efficient.

“While the business case stacks up I do have these huge concerns over risk and timing.

I’m not going to agree to do this because I think, with what we have heard today, I cannot sign on the line to move the control room up to Norfolk.”

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere was one of the leading opponents of the proposal to move the 999 control to Wymondham.

After Mr Passmore scuppered the plan Mr Ellesmere said: “I think it’s very good news for Suffolk. We have had huge concerns about this proposal since it was announced and it’s clear the vast majority of people in Suffolk have as well.”

He added that Mr Passmore has held a series of meetings with leaders and chief executives of councils in Suffolk to consult them ahead of his decision.

Mr Ellesmere added: “I’m glad that we have helped in playing our small part.”

Following Mr Passmore’s decision Norfolk Constabulary now sees itself faced with finding savings of another £1m.

The force’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey told the meeting this was equivalent to 20 police officers or 25 PCSOs, but made it clear he was using these numbers as an illustration of how much needed to be saved rather than saying they would be lost.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett said: “Obviously it’s disappointing. We are going to have to make the cuts in our plan B which are going to cause a lot of angst for the public in Norfolk but we will try to protect front line policing as much as possible.

Asked if he was surprised Mr Passmore had decided against merging control rooms Mr bett added: “I expected it after all the rhetoric that we have seen in the press on the Suffolk side.

“I would have been very surprised if he had gone with it (the plan).”

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

A 26-year-old man who was wanted on recall for prison after breaching the terms of his licence has been found.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24