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  1. Federation claims the scheme will cost £200,000 and could be better spent elsewhere. Date - 11th February 2019 By - Hermione Wright 7 Comments Plans to train firefighters to respond as police officers have been branded “worrying” and “gimmicky” by a local police federation. The hybrid role, which the Fed claims will cost £200,000, will see seven Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service firefighters trained to have the same powers as special constables. The move, which intends to speed up response times in rural areas, will mean the crew, known as Community Responders, will be responsible for reacting to both fire and police incidents. Andrew Berry, Chairman of the Devon & Cornwall Police Federation, has criticised the plans introduced by PCC Alison Hernandez, saying he has “serious concerns” about how it will operate. He questioned the cost benefits and the “wider ramifications” for Federation members who will inevitably have to train and support the new police staff. Inspector Berry claims the money could be better spent in other areas, such as investing in existing neighbourhood and response policing teams, or recruiting detectives – especially when, he says, the force is currently 50 short. He said: “I am also worried about the position these new officers would be put in if faced with a situation involving competing demands which both required an emergency response – one fire, one policing – how would that officer decide which was more pressing than the other? “The role of a police officer and a firefighter – while equally important – are very different from one another. This scheme is splicing the two roles into one creating a hybrid in an attempt to be all things to all people.” Despite concerns, Ms Hernandez says she is “incredibly pleased” to support the collaboration, and looks forward to seeing “the benefits that our communities will reap from this innovative work”. She added: “We don’t know what future funding will look like for any of our emergency services and working together on unique projects like this will improve the service both organisations can deliver to people in Devon.” Jeff Harding, Group Manager of Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said the service provided to people living in the affected towns will be “enhanced” as the Community Responders will be able to “provide visibility and advice” to the public across both roles. The project has already been funded for two years, with the possibility of being extend further. The seven responders, expected to be in place by the spring, will be based in Newton Abbot, Totnes, Cullompton, Crediton, Dartmouth, Okehampton and Honiton. The locations have been selected based on "risk, vulnerability and harm". View On Police Oracle
  2. PCC says she doesn't want 'senior management of police navel gazing about a merger for any longer than necessary'. (L-R) Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and Chief Constable James Vaughan Date - 15th August 2018 By - Sophie Garrod - Police Oracle 6 Comments Councillors discussing the potential merger between Devon, Cornwall and Dorset Police have been left frustrated and concerned over the lack of planning detail provided. The new force, which will be the biggest in the UK by geographical area, will be run by one chief constable, overseen by one PCC and would come into existence in May 2020. But at a Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday, councillors found themselves unable to scrutinise the plans - due to be submitted to the Home Office on October 12 - because of a shortfall in specifics. Cornwall Councillor Carolyn Rule said: “I’m disappointed we haven’t got the workings and thinking thus far - there’s nothing for us in the business case. “It was a lovely presentation, very interesting, lots of nice words, but we haven’t actually got anything to delve down into and I feel as though we’ve all wasted our time being here today because we can’t give you the support you need at the moment as you haven’t told us the information so we can’t scrutinise it.” It emerged during the meeting that Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Herdanadez had not even seen the blueprints yet. Cornwall Councillor Chris Batters told them: “At this point in time you have yet to see the business plan. "If this was a business and I was asked to support and invest in it, one of the first things I would be doing is looking for a business plan for which I could put my support to and invest my money in, and we’re sitting here as 15 representatives of this region today and none of us know what this business plan is. “Quite honestly I cannot see how I could support what you have in mind. I don’t know where we’re going with it, all these aspirations – seen it before. Aspirations means nothing to me, at the end of the day it’s guarantees or nothing.” Torridge District councillor, Philip Hackett, suggested the panel push for a delay in the merger and aim instead for 2024 describing the move as a “shotgun wedding.” He added: “We are just a few weeks short of the final deadline (Oct 12) but there is no evidence on the table to tell us how it is going to be. The devil is in the detail. Marriage is easy, but divorce is a very murky subject, and if we get this wrong, there is no going back.” PCC Ms Hernandez pleaded with the panel not to extend the timescale. She said: “I don’t want senior management of police navel gazing about a merger for any longer than necessary. Don’t extend the timescale as I would rather we either make a decision to merge which will be time well spent, or a decision to not merge and then get on with the day job of policing.” The panel agreed to move the date of its next meeting forward so a detailed business case could be presented which will then be forwarded to the Home Office by October 12. Earlier last month chiefs said the merger could result in an extra 430 officers across the three counties. This would include an immediate increase of about 100 officers due to the availability of an extra £3.2 million through savings from removing one chief constable and one PCC as well as sharing ICT systems. The rest would come from an increase in council tax. View On Police Oracle

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