Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Brandon Lewis has awarded £1 million from the Police Transformation Fund to 9 police and crime commissioners (PCCs) for their work in developing proposals to take on the additional responsibility for the governance of fire and rescue in their area.
The proposals are expected to bring about a fundamental shift to the way police and fire services work together, including sharing estates or back office functions. It follows a police-led process which saw funding recommendations made by the Police Reform and Transformation Board.
The PCCs who will receive funds are Sussex, West Mercia, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Brandon Lewis said:
Further collaboration between the 2 services presents a real opportunity to increase their efficiency and effectiveness – that’s good for the public as whole.
PCCs taking on responsibility for fire and rescue services will lead to the same level of public accountability for both services. I am pleased to support those PCCs who are developing proposals to take on governance of local fire and rescue services.
The new provisions in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 enable PCCs to take on responsibility for the governance of local fire and rescue services where a local case is made. It brings the same direct accountability to fire as is already in place with policing and allows PCCs to drive reform, maximize the benefits of collaboration and ensure best practice is shared.
Several PCCs are developing proposals to take on governance of local fire and rescue services as the earliest adopters of the new governance provisions. Further PCCs are expected to bring forward proposals soon and the funding award will ensure that the work and knowledge gained is properly disseminated amongst the policing community.
Set up as part of the spending review in 2015, the fund, which is police-led through the Police Reform and Transformation Board, is designed to allocate extra investment to continue the job of reform and shape policing for the future. PCCs and chief constable representatives sit on the board alongside senior leaders in policing, with the final decisions on bids made by the Home Secretary.