Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

Suffolk: Muted response to police boss’s single blue-light control scheme

08:00 15 April 2014

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Archant

A concept by Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner for a centralised ‘blue-light’ control room based in the county has been met with a muted response.

Tim Passmore has floated the idea of a single site for the despatching of fire, police and ambulance services.

Currently the ambulance control centre is based in Hellesdon, Norfolk, while the fire service’s 999 centre is located in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Passmore has said he is keen to look at any alternatives to relocating Suffolk Constabulary’s command and control room to Norfolk as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

However, in response to the possibility of there being a Suffolk-based emergency service control centre in the future, a spokeswoman for the ambulance service said: “The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust already has very good control room arrangements in place that serve local communities well.

“Our staff work very hard to provide high quality services and advice to callers whilst an ambulance is on its way.

“The work of ambulance control staff is closely connected to many parts of the wider NHS, such as acute hospitals, and we are not part of any discussions about a single joint emergency control room in Suffolk.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, in relation to the county’s fire service, said: “Our agreement with Cambridgeshire for the delivery of control services has a five-year term. The agreement has been in operation for just over three years and therefore has two remaining.

“However, the arrangements can be extended further, where desired. The current arrangements are operating successfully.”

Speaking at a meeting with Babergh residents at East Bergholt High School last Wednesday, Mr Passmore said: “I do think one of the alternatives I should be looking at is in two or three years if we don’t go ahead with the control room (merger) what about the linking of the blue lights services – ambulance, police, fire and coastguard – here in Suffolk?”

Douglas Paxton and Simon Bailey, chief constables of Suffolk and Norfolk respectively have put forward the business case for a combined control room, probably based in Wymondham. They estimate this would save £1.84million a year.

Due to their Government grants continually being slashed, Suffolk and Norfolk police need to find combined savings of £36.7m by March 2018. Suffolk’s shortfall is said to be £16.4m.

1 comment

  • Passmore seems to be ignoring the fact that ambulance dispatchers need a completely different skill-set to police or fire brigade dispatchers. Not only do the ambulance dispatchers need enough specialist medical knowledge to properly prioritise 999 calls, they also often need to talk callers through how to care for a casualty while the ambulance is on its way. Could be rather iffy when plod dispatchers pick up ambulance calls, to say the least.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Ipswich will receive a share of a £60m school improvement scheme after being identified as a social mobility ‘coldspot’, the government is set to announce today.

Paramedics, police and three fire engines are currently at the scene of a crash in Trimley St Mary.

With the sun setting on the sleepy village of Crowfield this afternoon, you would hardly have known it was 18 hours in to an armed police stand-off.

A new walkway could be built from a busy road to an Ipswich park after campaigners called form greater safety measures.

A quiet Suffolk village is in lockdown this afternoon as a police stand-off which began at 11.15pm yesterday continues.

A senior detective has warned residents to be vigilant after burglaries in Suffolk increased by 40% in December.

Dozens of public houses have closed in Ipswich in recent years. The pace of losses has now slowed and many community pubs are run by volunteers. 
This week David Kindred looks back at the two in particular - The Old Bell, which stood at the junction of Stoke Street, Vernon Street and Bell Lane, and Blooming Fuchsia in Foxhall Road.

Back before they were presenting I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and The Brit Awards, Ant and Dec took the UK by storm with their pop duo act, PJ & Duncan.

Music lovers heading to Jimmy’s Festival at his farm in Wherstead this summer are in for a treat – festival favourite KT Tunstall has been booked as a headliner.

Vulnerable older people in Suffolk are missing out on a million pounds worth of benefits they did not know they could claim.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24