Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite admits “more could be done” after agreeing to work with Fire Authority to improve relationship with police

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has admitted “there is more that could be done” to develop the relationship between the emergency services in the county.

His admission comes after he and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority agreed to work together to develop a business case to figure out the most viable option for future governance between the police and fire services today (December 8).

The government is taking forward new legislations through the Policing and Crime Bill, with the intention of enabling closer working between the emergency services.

Councillor Ablewhite said: “I’m delighted to be working with the Fire Authority to identify the opportunities and benefits that could be made through greater collaboration.

“Whilst the police, fire and ambulance already work closely together, I believe there is more that could be done to ensure the front line of services can be protected through greater collaboration that also represents best value for the taxpayer.”

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The new legislation could see one of three options; Cllr Ablewhite becoming responsible for fire and rescue services, creating a single employer for police and fire, or for Cllr Ablewhite to have representation on the local Fire Authority with voting rights.

While the Bill is passing through parliament, early discussions have been started between the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Fire Authority to explore the best way to take forward the opportunities.

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Sir Peter Brown, chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority, said: “Our meeting was extremely positive and we look forward to implementing the new legislation in a manner which meets our local needs and concerns.

“Our local fire service is held in the highest regard by members of the public and it is important that its role continues to provide residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with a trusted and respected service.

“We would hope that the Fire Authority will be able to continue its good work in providing a public link with the service in the future.”

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