A collaboration between the five East Midlands police forces has been praised as “unique” and “a model for all others to follow” by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Rt Hon George Osborne made his comments during a visit on Friday, which began at the Nottinghamshire Police headquarters and ended at the headquarters of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
He said he was impressed with the work being done in partnership between Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Police to combat crime, keep communities safe and provide value for money.
And he thanked officers and staff throughout the region for “keeping us all safe”.
His visit began in a meeting with chief constables Simon Cole (Leics), Neil Rhodes (Lincs) and Chris Eyre (Notts), with deputy chief constable Sue Fish (Notts) and Conservative MP for the Sherwood constituency in Nottinghamshire Mark Spencer.
They discussed the benefits of the five East Midlands forces working collaboratively to deliver operational policing to keep people safe from risk and harm, and the efforts to achieve value for money whilst driving up service.
The chiefs reassured the Chancellor that the budget settlement for policing, although better than had been feared, would not shake their resolve to provide efficient and effective policing rooted in local communities, and the meeting touched on the further opportunities that technology provides to help the police enhance services to the public.
There was also discussion about a proposed strategic alliance between Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and how this could deliver further savings, reinvestment in frontline services and a modernised approach to public contact services.
The Chancellor then toured Nottinghamshire Police’s control room where he spoke to staff who take 999 and 101 calls, and dispatch resources to scenes requiring police attendance.
He then travelled to the headquarters of EMSOU, which is one of several regional collaborations units made up of, and operating on behalf of, the five East Midlands forces.
He held talks with Mick Creedon, Derbyshire Police’s chief constable, and with Peter Goodman, the deputy chief constable in charge of the collaboration teams, before being briefed about two live surveillance operations.
EMSOU, praised in a recent national inspection by her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, brings together resources from throughout the region to combat major crime and serious and organised crime. It also provides the counter-terrorist response for the region and brings into one organisation the covert specialist intelligence teams from all five forces. Together, they work in tandem with the National Crime Agency, the Security Services, HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service, all in one location.
The Chancellor’s visit provided the opportunity to showcase the benefits of the regional forces and other agencies working together to combat a range of different threats and to keep people safe.
To date, savings of between £25m and £40m have already been made by the region’s police forces working collaboratively.