Three-Force Appointment of Joint Chief Officer

Wednesday, 30 March, 2011

As the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Policing Alliance continues to develop, the three police authorities have agreed to the appointment of a single Assistant Chief Constable from within the existing Chief Officer teams to drive forward the joint working arrangements for their 'protective services' functions.

Following this agreement, formally accepted by Cambridgeshire Police Authority on March 28, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Devine, currently a member of Hertfordshire Constabulary's Chief Officer Team, has been appointed by the three Chief Constables to lead on Protective Services. He will oversee a wide range of policing units and departments which protect the public from harm and provide specialist support to the locally-delivered policing functions across the three force areas from April 1.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have already established a number of collaborated Protective Services units since 2007, when the groundbreaking joint Major Crime Unit was implemented, which was followed by a joint Dog Unit, Scientific Services Unit, Firearms Support Unit, Civil Contingencies & Public Order Planning Unit, Professional Standards Department and Counter Terrorism Unit. A Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit will go live at the start of April.

Steve's role will include providing leadership to these joint units and he will also oversee the tri-force joint Protective Services functions as they are implemented. Immediate priorities are to establish Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime, Scientific Services, Firearms Support and Professional Standards units and departments. The objectives of establishing joint functions are to deliver increased resilience for the three forces and to generate savings to help close the financial gaps each organisation is facing as a result of the ongoing budget cuts.

Peter Conniff, Chair of Bedfordshire Police Authority welcomed the news, saying: "The appointment of a dedicated senior officer to drive forward the protective services functions will provide cohesive direction on these collaborative projects. We believe that Steve's appointment will streamline processes, provide strong leadership and ensure good working relationships across the teams, to deliver greater operational and financial efficiencies for all our communities."

Chair of Hertfordshire Police Authority Stuart Nagler commented: "We are delighted to have agreed with our colleagues in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire's Police Authorities to a joint post to cover Protective Services for the three forces. This will deliver a much more straightforward chain of command for the officers and staff working in existing joint units and ACC Steve Devine will also ensure that there are effective systems and processes in place as further three-force functions are implemented."

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Devine added: "I am very pleased to take up this exciting and challenging post. Our protective services are crucial as they deliver both support to local policing and provide direct services to the public in all three counties. I will be working closely with colleagues from across the three forces in the future. I look forward to serving the needs of the people in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire."

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