Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C


Suffolk/Norfolk: Prime Minister David Cameron says feuding PCCs need to make their own decision over police control room merger

09:32 11 April 2014

David Cameron

David Cameron


The Prime Minister ruled out an intervention in the controversial Norfolk and Suffolk police control room merger row – saying the feuding police and crime commissioners (PCC) needed to work it out.


David Cameron said elected crime tsars had been put in place so they could make the case to local people and it was up to them to make the decision.

Suffolk’s PCC Tim Passmore and his Norfolk counterpart Stephen Bett have been at loggerheads over a proposal to merge the two force’s police control centres.

The chief constables for the two counties – Simon Bailey and Douglas Paxton – had put forward a business case stating that the control room would be based in Norfolk, possibly at the current headquarters at Wymondham.

But that idea, which would save £1.8million a year, has sparked criticism from staff whose jobs are at risk and claims that lack of local knowledge could hit public safety.

Mr Bett has made it clear he is in favour of the idea, but Mr Passmore has said he is sceptical about the proposed merger and would only agree to it if he believed it was in the best interests of the people of Suffolk.

Mr Cameron said: “I think it is a matter for the police forces and the police and crime commissioners to discuss and find the way ahead.”

He added that it was not right for a Prime Minister to intervene in particular police stations, and say you have to do things like this or like that. “They do need to find efficiencies so they can make sure police are out on the beat, but it must be for local police commissioners to make the argument,” he said.

Asked about the opposition from local people, he added: “They elected the police and crime commissioner and that is why we introduced this change. There is now local accountability. Police and crime commissioners in Suffolk and Norfolk are now accountable to their electorate for these issues.

“They are the ones who will have to make the argument, make the decisions and be answerable at the ballot. That is democracy. We have enlarged democracy by having these police and crime commissioners. But my responsibility is to make sure the system as a whole is working and we are keeping crime down. Crime in Suffolk, for example, is down 17%.”



  • I fail to understand the logic of attempting to merge two very large counties, particularly when Norfolk County Council is yet to understand the Norfolk boundary goes further west than Dereham. Merging may save some money but standards can only fall. As PCC, Stephen Bett has a duty to respond within 15 working days, if he fails to act make a complaint against him to the IPCC.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • the control room will go to norfolk , all norfolks waste will come to suffolk. [we are being treated like a crap county]

    Report this comment


    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • I am afraid that Mr Cameron has a few lessons to learn about accountability here. There is no obligation on Mr Bett to answer questions from the public. He is accountable only to the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel. Unfortunately, the Panel has decided that it will not submit to Mr Bett questions sent to it by members of the public. The Freedom of Information Act 2000, of course, applies but any public authority has enormous scope under the Act for withholding information. Cllr Alex Byrne of Norfolk County Council is the chairman of the Panel. If you are concerned about this, do contact him.

    Report this comment

    John Martin

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Suffolk taxes being used to support other county's funding shortfalls, how come we lose all our control rooms across Blue Light services, which is not the case for other counties? Who is sticking up for Suffolk?

    Report this comment

    Andy Message

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • The PM's East Anglian dam.age limitation tour continues, here we have him trying to justify an expenditure and smooth out a project that has already gone out of control, nationally and locally, i.e that of the most uncontrollable, unwanted PCC's, their ego's and allures.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • No Mr Cameron, it is not democracy - that involves having a say in things... have YOU tried to submit a question to the Norfolk PCC in the hope of getting a response? Ordinary members of the public try to do this regularly and he just ignores them, as do his pals on the panel. So much for being able to 'have your say' and so much for 'local accountability'....

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, April 11, 2014

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

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

The mother of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic has said they are not expecting to travel home before December.

Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Orwell Bridge

There have been a number of crashes on the county’s roads this morning.

Police have defended the use of an offender rehabilitation scheme

The leader of a scheme to rehabilitate prolific offenders in Suffolk has clarified its responsibilities after a sex scandal involving one of its team attracted attention.

Campaigners have been calling for a by-pass for decades.

Local councils are to spend £500,000 in a bid to kick-start proposals for a four villages’ by-pass – a move that could see the road opened by 2021.

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

The proposed closure of the B&Q superstore on the edge of Ipswich will lift a huge question mark over the future of one of the town’s largest retail parks.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages