Police & private security industry collaborate as ‘Safe & Secure’ crime prevention garden proves a hit at prestigious show

The ‘Safe & Secure’ garden incorporating proven techniques to deter opportunistic burglars proved a hit at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall Summer Flower Show last week, with thousands of visitors dropping in on the unique crime prevention garden.

The garden – a collaboration between Essex Police, Secured by Design and RHS Hyde Hall, with support from a number of SBD member companies and local companies – showed how simple and affordable crime prevention measures could be incorporated into any front or rear garden to add an extra layer of security, help deter opportunistic burglars and protect a home.

Visitors to the garden not only got to enjoy the garden itself, but also had the opportunity to discuss the security features – which included information on security products and defensive planting – with Crime Prevention Officers from Essex Police.

Essex Police Designing Out Crime Officer Stephen Armson-Smith said: “I would like to thank the RHS and our sponsors for all their hard work and generosity in creating this wonderful garden, where collaboratively we were able to demonstrate how both nature and security can work together to create a beautiful, safe and secure Garden”.

Head of site at RHS Garden Hyde Hall Ian Le Gros said: “Well thought out defensive planting as part of garden design can provide an element of security, whilst at the same time provide a pleasant environment to live and work.  We hope visitors will be inspired by the garden and see for themselves that there are several things that can be done to improve security in the garden – most of which are relatively quick and inexpensive to do.”

Secured by Design Development Officer Lyn Poole said; “Garden security is such a great way to enhance the physical security of a home whatever size the house and garden”.

Essex Police are proactively leading on a number of garden security initiatives to help people protect their properties and their gardens. For further crime prevention advice, visit https://www.essex.police.uk/advice 

Secured by Design (SBD) is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a not-for-profit police owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK.  
SBD plays a significant crime prevention role in the planning process to design out crime, with a network of SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officers attached to police forces working  with architects, developers and local authority planners to design out crime at the planning stage in a wide range of building sectors. Over one million homes have been built to SBD standards in the last 20 years – a third of all new homes built – with reductions in crime of up to 87%. 

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are a UK charity with a vision to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. 

Contributions to the garden:

–       Jacksons Fencing

–       King & Co

–       Trimetals

–       Poulton Portables

–       Meadow Croft Garden Centre

–       Pragmasis

–       The Expanded Metal Company

–       Solon Security

–       Redline SecurityDefendaStrip

–       Ring

–       Uwatch

PSNI take delivery of their first accredited crime prevention qualification

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) Crime Prevention Academy have been working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Crime Prevention Unit to provide delivery of the first accredited crime prevention qualification for PSNI officers and staff.  

The Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention is aimed at officers and staff working in specialist roles and is delivered exclusively by the PCPI Crime Prevention Academy, which is an approved centre for the awarding body ProQual.   

Speaking on behalf of the Academy, the Head of Learning and Development Guy Collyer said, “We have been delivering accredited qualifications for the officers and staff of police services and partner agencies across the UK since September 2018.  This course was delivered by locally based trainers to ensure that the content is relevant to the ongoing work conducted by PSNI.”

Speaking on behalf of the PSNI Crime Prevention Unit, Chris Sloan said: “This is first time that officers and staff from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and staff from the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships have taken part in the Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention course and they have all found it to be extremely helpful for their roles.  

“We have just recently appointed a number of new crime prevention officers across our organisation and this training forms part of their continued development programme to become a fully accredited Crime Prevention Design Adviser.

“Delivering this locally based course highlights the PSNI’s commitment to partnership working and provides improved resilience in the prevention of crime and keeping people safe across Northern Ireland. 

“We look forward to working with PCPI in the delivery of further prevention training as part of the longer term Crime Prevention Strategy.”

Delegates attended the classroom phase of the qualification at the Police College of Northern Ireland, having completed preliminary work including e-learning.  Local delivery ensured that specific legislation and local policy documents could be referenced and relevant inputs from internal and external subject matter experts sourced. 

The Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention for Practitioners content includes the context of crime; the application of a problem solving process; correct and effective use of security products; site security surveys and environmental visual audits; working in partnerships and related legislation; and running a crime prevention initiative.  

The Level 4 Certificate provides a stepping stone to the Level 5 Diploma in Crime Prevention – Designing Out Crime.  

The Level 4 Certificate is part of the new generation of accredited, regulated and portable qualifications in Crime Prevention and Designing Out Crime.  The qualifications provide learning and CPD opportunities for those within the Police Service and other public organisations.  This includes Local Authority departments, Community Safety Partnerships, Fire and Rescue, Health and Probation services.  The qualifications are also available and relevant to private sector businesses such as security staff and managers, architects and planners.  

As well as scheduled national delivery, the qualifications can be delivered locally dependent on delegate numbers and available budget of an organisation.  To find out more about the qualifications delivered by the Academy and scheduled dates for delivery in 2019/2020, please contact: info@crimepreventionacademy.com

The Police Crime Prevention Academy is just one initiative belonging to Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) and is an Approved Centre for the awarding body, ProQual. The accredited qualifications which it delivers are regulated by Ofqual.

PCPI is a police owned organisation that works on behalf of Police & Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK. It is a non-profit organisation and Board Members include senior police officers from each of the four Home Nations who control and direct the work PCPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.

DFLEKT Limited join Secured by Design with their innovative home keybox to tackle wireless key vehicle theft

DFLEKT Limited is one of the latest companies to join Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, with their DFLEKT home keybox having achieved Police Preferred Specification.

The DFLEKT company mission is to eliminate the Relay Hack, the method by which thieves boost wireless key signals and steal cars from drives without having to enter a house. This type of theft can often take as little as 20 seconds.

The DFLEKT home keybox is made with an aluminium enclosure which creates a very strong faraday cage around the box.  When the box is closed the faraday cage is created which blocks signals entering or leaving the box. It has been designed to sit harmoniously alongside household ornaments, can hold up to four sets of keys and their spares.

The DFLEKT home keybox has been designed so it can be operated with one hand, ensuring it can easily be operated, and is self-closing.  You can find out more about this SBD accredited product here:  
https://www.securedbydesign.com/member-companies/sbd-members?view=companydetail&sbdoldcompanyid=956 

SBD Development Officer Hazel Goss said: “It has been a pleasure to sign DFLEKT up as a new Secured by Design member. I love this product – not only does it stop keys being boosted due to the RFID elements, it also is unique in design and style.

“The DFLEKT RFID Decorative Wooden Key Box is an ideal product to store your keyless car keys and credit cards in due to its design and the space that it offers.  It comes in a lovely design with different finishes blending in with most household decor and is not out of place sitting on a sideboard or table. This is another exciting product that we have within the Secured by Design accredited product range and I am looking forward to working with the company for years to come”.

Bill Fraser, DFLEKT said: “The Relay Hack is a prevalent crime in the country at the moment and the ease of access to technology which can boost car key signals is contributing to the volume of cars stolen each year.

“Dflekt hopes to redress the balance in car thefts by ensuring your car key signal, and therefore your car, is protected. We are very excited to be working with Secured by Design and promoting their crime prevention initiatives”.

SBD is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a police owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK. PCPI is a not-for-profit organisation and Board Members include senior police officers from each of the four Home Nations who control and direct the work PCPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.

SBD plays a significant crime prevention role in the planning process to design out crime in a wide range of building sectors. It has achieved some significant success including one million homes built to SBD standards with reductions in crime of up to 87%. 

SBD have many partner organisations, ranging from the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Police Service through to local authorities, housing associations, developers and manufacturers and work closely with standards and certification bodies to ensure that their publicly available standards actually meet the needs of the police and public alike. 

SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security-related products in the UK.

Met Commissioner advocates preventative side of policing at Secured by Design’s ATLAS 2019 National Training Event

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, CBE, QPM spoke passionately about the police service’s commitment to crime prevention as she opened Secured by Design’s annual National Training Event at Gloucestershire’s Cotswold Water Park.

Addressing Designing Out Crime Officers from police forces across the UK, as well as officers from the Garda and the Channel Islands, the Commissioner reinforced the fundamental importance of crime prevention, saying how it had remained unchanged from the creation of the police service 190 years ago to date. 

Crime prevention

Speaking of Sir Robert Peel, founder of the Metropolitan Police, the Commissioner said: “He was very, very clear that crime prevention was our first duty as police people.

“When I look back to Commissioners before me, right back to when I joined in 1983, I think we would all say that policing is about preventing crime………We start with preventing crime, we all do that and that is our job.”

The Commissioner stated the importance of the police mobilising both the public and partners to assist in preventing crime, stressing the importance of the police’s partners in industry in this respect.

“Without them you guys would not be able to do your work” she said “And without them this conference just wouldn’t happen.”

Praise for Designing Out Crime Officers

The Commissioner paid tribute to the effect that the network of Secured by Design trained Designing Out Crime Officers – who are based in Police Forces and local authorities around the UK and who liaise with local authority planners, developers and architects to design out crime at the planning stage in a wide range of building sectors – are having on reducing the demand on their police colleagues.

“It is great for me to see the impact you are all having” she told the delegates, “There are tonnes and tonnes of examples of crime that has been designed out, the problems that have been solved, the demand that has been reduced on all of our policing colleagues, by your work.”

The Commissioner recognised the value of Designing Out Crime Officers by commenting that she had 35 such officers in her force and was hoping to have more.

PCPI / SBD

The Commissioner also praised the work of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) and its best known initiative Secured by Design (SBD), and the effect it has in developments which are built to SBD standards.

“It’s great to see PCPI really thriving and SBD thriving. They are going from strength to strength latterly, it’s great for me to see the impact that you are all having. 

“As I was preparing for this event, I looked at some of the research that is out there and was reminded again that in SBD certificated developments, academic research, totally independent, will show up to 70% less crime than similar developments that aren’t certificated.

“In the Met we are working at a number of levels with PCPI, the Home Office and with Government ; I want us to do more and more of this in every way, but not least in terms of crime prevention.”

Private security industry

Addressing the 50 exhibitors and SBD member companies, the Commissioner spoke about the role that the private security industry play in supporting the police with crime prevention, praising them for assisting the police with security-related products which deter and prevent crime.

Speaking about moped-enabled crime in London and the range of tactics that the Metropolitan Police had used to tackle it, the Commissioner said that whilst the enforcement tactics had gained the publicity a large amount of credit should go to the preventative work.“When I became Commissioner moped-enabled crime was raging away in London, theft of mopeds almost the same. With some of the enforcement tactics that we have used, better intelligence, better co-ordination, better investigation, and on occasion pursuing and even tactical contact, that’s what has gained the publicity – but actually a massive amount of the effort has been on prevention, and long term of course the answer must be designing out” she said.

Specifically referencing the companies who make ‘fabulous’ security related products helping to make mopeds harder to steel, the Commissioner continued “Prevention has been a massive part of the 50% reduction that we have achieved”.

The Commissioner concluded by alluding to the UK’s acknowledged crime prevention prowess, adding “Crime prevention is absolutely fundamental ………it is something we can be proud of in this country, in our level of expertise and the work we do in terms of crime prevention.  We export it around the world, our protective security industry is world famous.”

The ATLAS 2019 National Training Event celebrated 30 years of SBD. As the national crime prevention scheme, SBD has achieved significant successes, influencing national planning policy to embed crime prevention in the planning process and establishing police security standards in the building and construction industry. This has led to more than one million homes built to SBD crime prevention standards across the UK – that’s 30% of all new homes built – with reductions in crime of up to 87% year-on-year as reported by Police Scotland in 2017.

NORTHERN AMBULANCE ALLIANCE SAVES £1 MILLION THROUGH JOINT PROCUREMENT OF FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Northern Ambulance Alliance (NAA) is improving the way it manages fleet information whilst simultaneously reducing costs and creating the ability to benchmark data across three ambulance trusts through a shared five year contract with Civica Tranman.

The NAA has undertaken a joint procurement to replace existing fleet management systems with an innovative, fit for purpose system which will support fleet managers to reduce vehicle costs through more efficient data capture and analysis.

This is the very first time a collaborative procurement has been undertaken by the NAA which is an alliance between North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). The trusts have joined forces with the objective of identifying and developing opportunities for joint efficiencies and innovation. East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is also an associate member of the NAA.

This project has been led by NWAS Assistant Director of Estates and Fleet Neil Maher with the support of colleagues at NEAS and YAS, as well as the NWAS programme management office. Further support has been provided by a project team including key representatives from fleet, finance, procurement and information management and technology teams at NWAS, YAS and NEAS.

The project went live in early March following workshops with Civica to ensure the new system meets the specification and needs of each of the trusts involved.

The key benefits of the new Tranman fleet management system are as follows:

  • Only one tendering process was carried out instead of three individual tenders, reducing duplication.
  • Only one lot of set up costs were required across the three trusts.
  • One common system will help to drive efficiencies within the ambulance fleet as a whole.
  • There is an overarching reporting and management suite across the member trusts.

Neil Maher, Assistant Director of Estates and Fleet at NWAS said: “There have been significant savings achieved in the procurement of this system, however we see the real value of it as a long term investment for the three trusts in terms of future operating costs, process redesign, organisational learning, fleet quality, and the ability to make better informed decisions for future fleet procurements.

“It certainly falls within the ethos of Lord Carter’s report on operational productivity and performance in English NHS Ambulance trusts, and goes a long way to laying the foundations for achieving the aims of the report in terms of operational fleets in the North West, North East and Yorkshire.”

Rod Barnes, Chief Executive at YAS commented: “Our fleet is so critical to patient care that we welcome having improved visibility from the new system. This will allow all three trusts to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations which is an important step in supporting Lord Carter’s recommendations to increase productivity and create greater efficiencies together.”

Lynne Hodgson, Director of Finance at NEAS added: “There are a number of projects being pursued by the estates, fleet and procurement workstream of the overall NAA programme, all aiming to achieve standardisation and value for money. The teams are committed to working together to deliver efficiencies and drive forward best practice. The joint procurement of the new fleet management system is a significant milestone in this programme of work.’

Busiest month on record for London Ambulance Service

Latest figures reveal that December 2018 was London Ambulance Service’s busiest month on record

Frontline ambulance crews in the capital treated almost 101,000 patients  – around 7,000 more than the monthly average for last year.

Director of Operations Paul Woodrow said: “Demand on our services continues to rise year on year. December is a particularly busy month for us due to Christmas festivities and winter illnesses and injuries.

“We plan carefully for periods of increased activity and put more staff on the road and in our control rooms to meet the increased demand. As a result, every day in December 2018 we reached our most seriously ill and injured patients (category 1 calls) in less than seven minutes.

“This is a real credit to the hard work of all of our staff – including those on the frontline treating patients, those in our control rooms taking calls and sending ambulances and also those working behind the scenes.”

The second busiest month on record was December 2016, when ambulance crews saw 99,632 patients face to face, followed by December 2017, which saw 97,933 patients assessed and treated.

As part of its five-year strategy, the Service is looking at a variety of innovative ways to meet the challenge of rising demand across London.

A key aim of the strategy is to reduce the proportion of patients that ambulance crews take to emergency departments when their individual needs can be met just as, or more, effectively in their own homes or a referral to an alternative service.

The Service is also aiming to offer a wider range of specialist staff, including midwives and mental health nurses, and provide more care for patients on the telephone and at the scene where a hospital admission is not required.

The Service’s strategy also involves taking full advantage of new digital technology to make our services more accessible and improve the overall experience for our patients.

Paul added: “With the increased demand and recent cold snap, I’d like to remind Londoners to only call for an ambulance in an emergency and use 111 for urgent healthcare advice, or visit your GP or pharmacist.”

SWASFT paramedics work with Bournemouth University on resilience training

Paramedics at South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) will be working together with Bournemouth University on a new training programme that will help Commanders across the South West if they ever have to face a major emergency involving a large number of casualties.  This will ultimately help save lives if the worst was ever to happen, together with other emergency services.  

Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) will be working with SWASFT to provide pre-course and post-course enrichment materials via their Online Learning portal so the training can be completed by paramedics currently working on the frontline.  

The course is going to enhance the disaster management skills of paramedics with specialist software to help simulate major disasters like a hazardous chemical incident, a terrorist bomb or a firearms attack.  It will help commanders to organise ambulance crews and NHS assets to the scene to quickly help triage and treat patients affected and the public at large.    

Robert Flute, Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR) Command Training Advisor, said: “The new online aspect of our command courses will greatly benefit SWASFT’s wider vision for the ambulance service as a regional centre of best practice in incident command training.

“Working with Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre can only enhance the standing of our courses which are seen as best practice. SWASFT is the first ambulance trust to offer this unique partnership.”

SWASFT already have a robust Incident Response Plan in place to deal with major incidents of this kind but this online training will help paramedics in command practice their resilience skills in advance so they are ready to deal with a large amount of casualties well in advance, and response appropriately.  

They will learn how to manage interagency meetings, support medical and other responders who may assist SWASFT at a major incident. This eLearning will aid retention and enhance knowledge in between physical attendance at a command course. 

BUDMC’s bespoke e-learning platform will support all of our command courses for operational on scene commanders, and for those manging the wider tactical Trust response as well as the senior managers overseeing the strategic response and recovery from any disruptive challenge.

This online platform will allow our commanders to have access to a wide range of online training materials including simulated command groups, health advice and questions in such a way as is easily accessible from any device. 

SWASFT will be able to set assessment exercises and the software can issue certificates to students who successfully complete a given module of the online training. 

The platform has excellent reporting functions so training staff can monitor the progress of each individual through the course content. 

In addition, our suite of command courses are currently undergoing assessment by the CPD Standards Office. 

The CPD Standards Office is part of the Professional Development Consortium, which is also home to the CPD research project. The organisation and the logo are recognised internationally and by all 1,600 regulators, professional bodies and institutions in the UK.

This process will take 6 weeks. The assessment team will be looking at:

• The learning methodology of the training engagement of the participants

• The process will also look to see how command skills are retainable and transferable. 

• The process will look at the educational authority of the training; where the content was sourced from and how it was put together.

To register a defibrillator with SWASFT, please visit: https://www.swast.nhs.uk/welcome/defibrillator-scheme/defibrillators

“Many other police officers and staff will follow in her footsteps” – West Midlands Police staff member one of first in country to achieve crime prevention qualification success

West Midlands Police staff member Susan Joyce has become one of the first people to successfully complete a Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention, an accredited qualification delivered by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) Crime Prevention Academy.

Susan, who joined West Midlands Police in 1995, was a supervisor within West Midlands Police’s Birmingham Partnerships before joining the Force’s Design Out Crime Team in early 2018.

Guy Collyer, Head of Learning and Development, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, said: “Susan should be congratulated for being one of the first candidates to achieve an accredited qualification in Crime Prevention with us. 

“Many other police officers and staff will follow in her footsteps, and we encourage all other agencies who have staff working in this area of the criminal justice arena, to speak to us about the qualifications we now deliver for them as well.”

West Midlands Police’s Designing Out Crime manager, Mark Silvester, said: “I am really pleased to have Susan as part of my team of Designing Out Crime Officers, she has settled in to the role very well. I am immensely proud of the fact Susan is the first person to have passed the new Level 4 course. 

“Susan joins the forces team of nine DOCO’s in West Midlands Police, and working alongside the four colleagues for the areas covered under the Birmingham Neighbourhood Police Unit.”

The Level 4 Certificate in Crime Prevention is part of the new generation of accredited, regulated and portable qualifications in crime prevention and designing out crime which become available from September 2018.  The qualifications provide learning and CPD opportunities for those within the Police Service and other public organisations that have a statutory duty around delivering safer communities.  This includes Local Authority departments, Community Safety Partnerships, Fire and Rescue, Health and Probation services.  The qualifications are also available and relevant to private sector businesses such as security staff and managers, architects and planners.  

As well as scheduled national delivery, the qualifications can be delivered locally dependent on delegate numbers and available budget of an organisation.  To find out more about the qualifications delivered by the Academy and scheduled dates for delivery in 2019/2020, please contact:training@police-cpi.co.uk

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) is a police owned organisation that works on behalf of Police & Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK. It is a not-for-profit organisation and Board Members include senior police officers from each of the four Home Nations who control and direct the work PCPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.  

The PCPI Crime Prevention Academy is an Approved Centre for the awarding body, ProQual, and the accredited qualifications which it delivers are regulated by Ofqual.

Thames Valley emergency services celebrate far-ranging Collaboration Programme

  • Thames Valley Collaboration Programme highlights region’s emergency services
  • Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service (RBFRS), Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service (OFRS), and Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS) plus police and ambulance services
  • Collaboration projects underway across three counties with more to follow  

Emergency services across Thames Valley are working in close collaboration to bring innovation, efficiency, and better value for money for the people of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.

Emergency Services Collaboration in the Thames Valley sets out the ambitious strategy behind the collaboration and explains in detail the type of cross-county work that is already underway or planned for the near future.

This ongoing programme of collaborative activity also involves Thames Valley Police (TVP), and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), as well as the region’s three fire and rescue services.

What does Collaboration look like?

Collaboration takes many forms, including –

  • Joint control rooms
  • Shared estates and assets
  • First response and co-responding
  • Information sharing
  • Recruitment
  • Shared specialist capabilities

Many of these elements are already underway across the emergency services within Thames Valley, with several other innovative projects planned for the coming months. 

Case Study: Thames Valley Fire Control Service

Thames Valley Fire Control Service, based in Calcot, Reading, is a joint fire service control room serving the people of Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, helping a combined population of two million people with the help of the most up-to-date technology.

Since opening in April 2015, the service has delivered significant savings to all three services. By the end of 2024-25, total savings of nearly £16 million are expected thanks to the increased efficiency and improved performance the shared control room allows.

Case Study: Jointly purchased fire engines

The next generation of fire engines is now serving in the Thames Valley following a successful collaborative project run in a partnership between Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire fire and rescue services.

A total of 37 new fire engines will be delivered by 2021, with 15 delivered in 2017, eight for Buckinghamshire, three for Oxfordshire and four for Berkshire. This project will lead to estimated savings of more than £700,000. The vehicles are based at stations close to the three services’ shared borders and replace existing vehicles.

Case Study: Shared premises

Hungerford Community Fire Station officially opened following a major refurbishment which began in November 2016. The refurbishment not only delivered a modern, fit-for-purpose fire station, but also Berkshire’s first community tri-service station, providing shared facilities for RBFRS, TVP and SCAS.

More recently, the Witness Care Unit from TVP and Victims First, part of the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), began sharing office space within the Reading headquarters of RBFRS.

In Oxfordshire, work will start in March 2019 on refurbishments to Chipping Norton and Woodstock Fire Stations, which will become joint Fire and Police stations serving their communities.

What happens next?

Case study: Milton Keynes Emergency Services Hub

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority is working with SCAS and TVP to move into a new purpose-built ‘hub’ that will see all three services operate from one site, based at West Ashland in Milton Keynes.

The building will allow the three services to leave five existing sites in the Milton Keynes area, which will free-up those sites for alternative use and provide substantial savings to taxpayers from reduced running costs. The new site should be ready for occupation by around October 2019.

In Berkshire, there are plans for Theale to host a new fire station, with facilities provided for both SCAS and TVP on the premises. Crowthorne will also be rebuilt to house a similar new building, with work due to commence in 2019.

In Oxfordshire, plans are being finalised to build the Carterton Community Hub. The temporary Carterton Fire Station was opened in December 2018, which will move into the Community Hub when it has been built. The Hub will provide a base for emergency and communities services in the area and be a resource for the local community.

Future opportunities

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Jefferies, collaboration lead for RBFRS, said: “The blue light services of the Thames Valley have a proud tradition of collaboration and by working together with our emergency services partners we can ensure that we provide the best value for money for the people we serve.

“This important document outlines the collaboration that has been going on for a number of years between the three fire and rescue services and our partners, including the move to a shared Thames Valley Fire Control Service in 2015.

“The existing willingness to work together, combined with a new legislative approach will provide structure and a renewed emphasis for emergency service partners to develop, improve and maintain their collaborative working arrangements with new and existing partners.”

Lynne Swift, BFRS Director of People and Organisational Development, is the collaboration lead for BFRS. She said: “Working together and sharing accommodation with other emergency services both increases opportunities for more partnership work and provides savings for the public.

“We will continue to explore opportunities to collaborate and where possible share accommodation with other emergency services to ensure that we provide the best possible service and value for money to the communities of Thames Valley.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob McDougall, collaboration lead for OFRS, explained: “The Thames Valley region is a leading example of public sector collaboration which is not only an effective and efficient way of working, but a moral duty to help protect the communities we serve. It further embeds shared working practices and allows us to better align our response to ensure our communities receive an effective response no matter which side of the county border they live in.”