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Suffolk: Police chief tells Norfolk counterpart ‘We don’t need your advice’

10:51 17 March 2014

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

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Suffolk’s police chief has fired a warning shot across the bows of his Norfolk counterpart, telling him to stick to running his own constabulary.

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Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett has claimed failing to merge the counties’ police control rooms would result in “dire consequences” for both forces.

In response Tim Passmore effectively told Mr Bett not to make pronouncements on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary.

Mr Passmore, who is yet to be convinced about the merits of relocating Suffolk’s 999 call centre to Norfolk, said: “My view is we will sort ourselves in Suffolk. We don’t need any advice as to how we will deal with this.”

Last week Mr Bett re-iterated that he was firmly behind a proposal for a combined command and control centre, which would save nearly £2million a year.

He said if the move did not go ahead it would be “devastating”, adding: “In a nutshell, if Suffolk and Norfolk don’t do this then I’m afraid both Suffolk and Norfolk constabularies are going to suffer dire consequences.”

Both forces face making massive savings from their budgets over the next four 
years due to Government cutbacks to grants.

However, Mr Passmore believes there may be alternatives to merging the control rooms from Suffolk’s perspective and wants to explore those. He has also raised concerns over whether or not it could potentially put Suffolk residents’ safety at risk.

Previously he stressed he would not give consent for the move to go ahead unless he could be sure it was not to the detriment of the county’s residents.

Mr Passmore said: “This next financial year is the critical time. We have set a budget for this and that gives you the opportunity to look at Plan B.

“I don’t agree with his (Mr Bett’s) analysis and that’s why we have got to look at other things to make sure we leave no stone unturned.

“We have got to have public support for these changes. If we don’t, it’s going to be very difficult to make them happen successfully.”

At a meeting in King’s Lynn last Thursday Norfolk’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey warned up to 40 police officers or 70 police community support officers could be lost in Norfolk if the centralised control room did not go ahead.

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3 comments

  • Clearly these two people have no experience in policing and are basing their argument on foolish assumption rather than fact. Crime would rocket if England had a single police force! Especially if the met and city merged!

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    Grace05

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Its ludicrous that in this day and age we still have separate police forces for Norfolk and Suffolk. Devon and Cornwall merged years ago and manage the two counties very effectively. Lets hope the government piles more pressure on the police budgets until the present wasteful structure is forced to be wholly merged into one police force. There is too much work going on to just protect petty little empires which result in loss of value to the ratepayer. We could easily get by with about six or eight police forces to cover the whole of England. Oh and lets make a start on merging the tiny City of London force ino the Met and abolishing the long outdated British Transport Police.

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    John Alborough

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • This is the whole problem with the emergency services. It's time they were all merged into national services, something that should have happens years ago. Scotland only has one police force and I haven't read of anyone complaining. Without a national policy and strategy for change there will continue to be these silly petty squabbles which take much energy and save little money in the wider scheme of things. from the number of enquiries ongoing into a number of forces over previous actions it could be seen that small forces are able to his things as there is a lack of proper oversight and too many vested interests wanting to cover things up. Change might take time to achieve but without a strategic direction nothing significant will be achieved.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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