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Suffolk: Tell us what you think about the proposal to move Suffolk’s police control room to Norfolk

14:18 17 March 2014

The Norfolk police control room at Wymondham

The Norfolk police control room at Wymondham

Archant © 2009

Today Suffolk residents are being offered the opportunity to give their views on the controversial proposal to relocate the county’s police control room to Norfolk.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Tim Passmore has said it is vital proper public consultation takes place before a decision is made on whether to merge both counties’ 999 call centres.

The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star have replicated a survey on the PCC’s website and are asking for people to tell us what they think.

The papers’ editor Terry Hunt said: “We believe it is vital people have the opportunity to say whether or not they are in favour of Suffolk’s police control room being relocated to a central base in Norfolk.

“This is an issue which will have a huge impact on the people of Suffolk. The decision-making process must be transparent and the public must be given every opportunity to express their views.”

“I would urge readers to fill in the survey in today’s paper and tell us what they think.”

The proposed merger, which was put forward by Suffolk Chief Constable Douglas and his Norfolk counterpart Simon Bailey, has led to fierce criticism from the staff involved and fears over public safety. Concerns have been raised about the duplication of village and road names. Comparisons have also been made with the serious problems encountered by having the ambulance service control centre being located in Norfolk and issues with the fire service control being moved to Cambridgeshire.

The proposal comes as part cost-cutting measures aimed at bridging a combined funding gap of £36.7million by March 2018. Suffolk Constabulary must find savings of £16.4m, while Norfolk’s shortfall is £20.3m.

However, while Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett has made it clear he is in favour of a merged command centre probably located in Wymondham, Mr Passmore has said he remains to be convinced.

Launching the public survey he said: “It is really important that I, as the elected representative of the people of Suffolk, fight to protect front line policing in the county and I believe that the control room is a very integral element of our front line policing.

“No decision has been made yet, but I can assure you that I will carefully consider the Chief Constable’s proposals and the business cases and will make my decision based on what is best for the people of Suffolk.

“I am deeply concerned about the potential impact on people’s livelihoods and jobs. Yes, there are budgetary pressures, but we need to make sure whatever recommendations there are, are resilient and effective.”

To take part in the EADT and Ipswich Star’s online survey click here

9 comments

  • Anybody know how well the two forces and the two control rooms coped with the helicopter crash on their border?

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Well this is obviously a case of 'Empire Building' by the Norfolk Crime Commissioner !, talk about looking after number 1 !, we're alright Jack !, pull the ladder away !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Perhaps we should take a vote on which UK county we should amalgamate with? What happened to democracy?

    Report this comment

    sue douglas

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • What is wrong with Ipswich and Suffolk ...Over the years Norwich has wanted our radio station , It has our Local paper , Our hospital depts are being shipped out, ( we us now have to go to Norwich for our treatment) ..they want to send the post office to Chelmsford..There iswas talk about the fire service HQ going to Cambridge , Now the police ...pretty soon there will be nothing left ...why dont the Just rub out Suffolk's boundary completely and share us out between Cambs, Essex, and Norfolk...

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Not surprised by this at all .. Been closeing down stations for years and the reponse in care don't improve Used to be a time when a policeman was a part of the community. just close every thing down then some people will be happy untill they need help...

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The problem is that Suffolk are considered a push over due to the performance of SCC over many years. Until there is a CC that fights for resources and provides services for residents then son there will be nothing left to fight for. There are too many County Councillors who want to grandstand along with our MPs and between them nobody actually bothers what the interests of the residents are.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • It make sense to merge the control rooms. Longer term I think they should be looking at having a single control room for all three emergency services. Combining them will save money and enable more police officers to be kept My understanding is that if this proposal goes ahead although control room job's go to Norfolk the Finance, IT & HR jobs currently in Norfolk will come to Suffolk

    Report this comment

    BobE

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Absolutely ridiculous, why has every thing got to change, there will be no saving made by this, honestly, what's wrong with system what is in place now.

    Report this comment

    Keith Drury

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Let it go and stop wasting the tax of hardworking people. It is too late to be arguing over a posh problem when many families are struggling to get by. This is typical of Suffolk which has been poorly led and managed for decades. Let's concentrate on saving our schools, building proper affordable homes to live in, and getting jobs that pay above the living wage.

    Report this comment

    Peter Wyburn

    Monday, March 17, 2014

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

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