Four forces agree to form regional specialist policing service

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, Lincolnshire Police.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, Lincolnshire Police.

Four East Midlands police forces have agreed to form a single regional approach to provide specialist services including search teams, armed response units, dog sections and roads policing officers.

Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables from Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire have approved a region-wide Operational Support (OS) service, which will significantly increase the number of officers each force can call upon for specialist assistance as and when required.

The forces, which already collaborate in many areas of policing, have selected a Senior Management Team (SMT) of officers from participating forces to lead the service when it goes live on 31 March.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes of Lincolnshire Police, who oversees specialist operations in the region, said, “While each of our individual forces has its own issues and areas of risk that we need to find local solutions to, it does not mean we have to address those issues in isolation and that is very largely what police collaboration is about. We have historically invoked mutual aid agreements to call on support from neighbouring forces when required, but this single regional structure will give us substantially more flexibility and resources than the old arrangements.

“There will be some financial savings for the forces too, realised largely by having the streamlined command structure. Reducing the number of senior managers in OS will mean we have their policing experience and knowledge at our disposal to help bolster and sustain local policing.”

Assistant Chief Constables from each of the four forces will now prepare detailed plans for how the four key areas of operational support policing – command and control, public order, armed policing, strategic roads policing – will be managed.