Commissioner Lloyd addresses national conference on blue light integration
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire addressed a national conference on Wednesday (5th March) discussing integration between blue light services.
David Lloyd spoke to at the conference, organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), about how police and fire can work closer together in order to meet the challenges that many services face. The audience included representatives from the emergency services from across the country as well as public finance professionals.
Blue Light Integration refers to collaboration and pooling of resources and assets between different public sector emergency organisations. Addressing the conference, the Commissioner said different areas around the country will be finding different ways of working together that are appropriate for their areas and organisations.
He argued that greater cooperation and savings between the emergency services provides an opportunity for genuine reform, rather than simply continually chipping away at individual service’s budgets to meet financial challenges.
He said: “Police and Crime Commissioners across the country, as well as the service chiefs that they work with, will be starting to look at where they sit and where they are heading. Whether you’re looking at service re-engineering or running a more efficient fleet and estate it clearly make business sense to consider the options.
“When it comes to the outcomes we have in mind, I am pretty confident that these are something we can all get behind as well: better service to residents; shorter response times; joined-up and coherent services; reduced cost to the public purse.”
Commissioner Lloyd discussed how public authorities both in Hertfordshire and in other areas are already working together but at the same time acknowledged that more could be done looking at “shared approaches to issues like estates, procurement and training”.
“There are also opportunities to have a radical look at how we do business, as well as how we hit our financial targets,” he continued. “There is much more to do but again Hertfordshire is ahead of the game here with initiatives like the joint County Community Safety Unit where the Constabulary and council work together on safeguarding, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol services, and home safety.”
The Commissioner’s speech follows his new chairmanship role of a national blue light integration working group, which is looking at the ways the emergency services can work more closely to better serve the public.
The group discussed the current state of play with integration between services, what opportunities there are for future working in the area and what barriers there are to progress.
Hertfordshire has a strong tradition of collaborative work and integration between public services.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has a number of services and units collaborated with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces and David Lloyd signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the end of last year paving the way for further collaboration.
The County Community Safety Unit is a joint unit run by police and Herts Children’s Services, while Herts Fire & Rescue Services is also integrated with the County Council.