Closer links for Beds and Herts - Police forces move forward together

Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities have taken another step towards greater collaboration, with business cases to provide joint services in three key areas of work being approved at both authority meetings.

Plans will now be developed to establish a joint Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

* Dog Section
* Professional Standards Department (to manage public complaints and conduct and performance issues for both forces)
* Scientific Services including a joint Chemical Laboratory facility

If approved by both Police Authorities in February, the new joint units will be operational by April and will produce savings in the region of £650k per annum, which will be re-invested in frontline policing across the two counties.

The proposals were developed in consultation with staff by the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Joint Collaboration Programme, which was set up specifically to explore opportunities to improve efficiency, effectiveness and resilience across a range of key policing services. Their work is overseen by the Joint Police Authority Collaboration Group, which is chaired by Peter Conniff, Chair of Bedfordshire Police Authority and with Stuart Nagler as Vice-Chair representing Hertfordshire. These most recent proposals follow the one year anniversary of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, which has been acknowledged through independent inspection as a success.

Peter commented, "Collaboration can bring enormous benefits, such as increased resilience and economies of scale. These further arrangements are about broadening the scope of the collaborative work between the two counties to deliver improved policing over the coming
years. I am confident that the significant steps that have been agreed over the past few days will bring about increased capability and efficiency."
Stuart Nagler, Chair of Hertfordshire Police Authority added, "We constantly strive to improve policing services for all our communities and collaboration with other forces and key partners in the county provides excellent opportunities to do just that. Both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire forces are keen to build on the significant success achieved through the formation of a joint Major Crime Unit last year, which has already been heralded as a 'ground-breaking' initiative by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary."

Head of the Joint Collaboration Programme, Chief Superintendent Steve Ottaway, said, "Collaboration is becoming an ever-more important part of the way policing is delivered and the Programme Team are continuing to assess other work areas that have been identified as potentially suitable for collaborative effort. The work being conducted is at the forefront of national good practice. Colleagues from other forces are expressing keen interest in our progress."

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