Over the past couple of years the two organisations have successfully co-located police officers and staff into shared facilities within HFRS buildings. This latest announcement, which is the first of its kind in the country, highlights the organisations’ commitment to build on the successful strategic police-fire partnership.
The move will see around 100 senior police officers and support staff based at the new strategic headquarters at HFRS’s Leigh Road base.
Hampshire Constabulary’s operational headquarters will remain in Winchester, at Mottisfont Court in the centre of Winchester.
The joint location offers the potential for a shared gold command facility, which could be utilised by either, and critically by both partners during a major incident. This will massively strengthen the already well established ties between fire and police through joint blue light agency working and through the Local Resilience Forum, as was well evidenced in the emergency response to the unprecedented flooding that affected Hampshire and the rest of the country earlier this year.
The ambitious plans are part of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s commitment to greater integration and sharing of facilities with Hampshire Constabulary’s key partners and has backing from the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said, “Co-locating senior police officers and support staff from Hampshire Constabulary with Hampshire Fire and Rescue is key to the successful delivery of my policing estate strategy. It is only by investing in joint-working initiatives such as this that I will be able to protect people and places locally while ensuring that the police’s estate is cost-effective and fit for purpose despite significant economic challenges. I look forward to continuing the close working relationship with Hampshire Fire and Rescue into the future.”
Both services anticipate further efficiencies in effective command of multi-operational strategic incidents in due course once the new arrangements are operational and bedded in.
Timeframes are currently under discussion but it is anticipated that senior police officers can start moving into Eastleigh in the autumn of 2015, although precise timeframes are to be agreed.