Merged Norfolk and Suffolk police control room ‘would save £1.8m per year’

Police HQ at Wymondham. Police HQ at Wymondham.

Monday, February 24, 2014
8:16 PM

Police control centres in Norfolk and Suffolk could be merged in favour of a single super centre at Wymondham that would save around £1.8m per year.

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Bosses are eyeing two recommendations designed to help meet a combined £36.7m of required savings for the two forces by March 2018 - £20.3m for Norfolk police and £16.4m for Suffolk.

The cuts follow the Home Office announcement around the second Comprehensive Spending Review in December 2013.

The first recommendation is for a combined call-handling centre for the two counties at Wymondham.

There are 170 police call-handling staff in Norfolk and 134 in Suffolk, and individual briefings were held today.

It is not yet know how many jobs could be lost, but it is hoped compulsory redundancies can be avoided.

It is understood that people dialling 999 should notice no difference due to technology enabling seamless coverage, with officers from local police stations still attending incidents.

Norfolk was chosen over Suffolk as its control room required least investment to handle the extra call capacity.

The second recommendation is to pool back-office staff from Norfolk and Suffolk - including HR, finance, ICT, procurement, estates and transport - in a single location.

A number of possible sites are being explored, but it is understood the intention is to base the main location in Suffolk.

More than 400 staff fall into the back office category, and it is claimed that combining the counties’ services would save £2.5m per year.

Neither recommendation will be acted upon unless formally approved by the police and crime commissioners (PCCs) for both counties.

A meeting will be held on Thursday, but it is not known whether the two PCCs will make a decision without first seeking further background information.

In a joint statement Paul Ridgway and Matt Gould, chairmen of Norfolk and Suffolk Police Federations, said the moves would make “little or no” difference to services.

But they added: “It is clear however, that the severity of cuts to the police service has negatively impacted on officer and staff morale.

“We have liaised with our separate police and crime commissioners and local MPs to be mindful of the strain with which officers and staff are facing.

We believe that if the Government continue with the planned cuts as announced, there will become a time in the near future when both forces will reach crisis point and it is then that the public will see an irretrievable change to the police service they currently experience across the two forces.”

9 comments

  • This phoney merger between Norfolk and Suffolk needs to come to an end and both forces need to make up their minds about their futures. A single control is ok but as we know from past experience a single control room can easily become overwhelmed. If anything a return to local control rooms would be preferable but we all know that is never going to happen. Lets just hope they have a backup facility should anything go wrong. Lack of local knowledge within the control room isn`t that much of an issue considering many police officers no longer live where they work and rely on their sat nav to get around.

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    BG

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Lots more cuts. Keep chopping away at a sturdy oak and eventually it will fall over.

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    DJ

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Outsource to India, it would save a fortune in the long run.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Small beer compared to membership of the Masons.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Smart move. Saves a lot of money and will make no difference at the end of the day the guy you speak to doesn't for a couple on mins doesn't have to know every inch of the road you're talking about... Will be deploying the same local officers...

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    King of all

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Mr Gould would do well to remember that a change to control will lead to officers being taken from the front line to support waning numbers in a closing control room operational police command will run from another county disadvantaging his officers seeking promotion and command experience. Knee jerk poor response from a corrupt, short sighted and self serving pseudo union

    Report this comment

    Albert

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Still will not stop the Police for asking more money from the poll tax, they will bleed us dry. They must learn more good house keeping, like we have to

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Can anyone explain why these public bodies are forever having these so called money saving exercises with thousands of people being made redundant yet the amount we are charged for the dubious pleasure of subsidising them never ever goes down? I guess they have to keep the money in the public purse to pay those thousands of people to sit at home all day on the dole. Anyone see a solution to this? I can. Give people their jobs back and the rest of us wont be any better or worse off.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • They need to have one PCC running both counties that would save a lot of wasted money. Also there is no need to have an ACC and a DCC the Chief is paid a ridiculous amount of money which he needs to earn.They are quick to protect themselves and slaughter the bottom level of staff who are important to the community. They need to thin out the top there is a lot of dead wood filling their pockets and claiming expenses who are on rediculous amounts of money manipulating figures to look good i know from experience what goes on.

    Report this comment

    job

    Monday, February 24, 2014

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

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