Will the UK’s future fire and rescue services be run by the police?

Published:  11 September, 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron launches consultation to force further collaboration between the emergency services.

The Home Office has today published a consultation paper that includes a whole raft of measures designed to drive the emergency services to work together and reduce their costs to the taxpayer.

The measures in the consultation paper include enabling police and crime commissioners to either run fire and rescue authorities or to be represented in a fire authority.

The paper also proposes abolishing the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and giving the Mayor of London responsibility for fire response in the capital, as will be the case for the new Mayor of Greater Manchester.

However, the Home Office has pointed out that there is no intention to change operational policing and fire fighting and that the law preventing a member of a police force from being a firefighter will remain in place.

In addition, Central Government funding for the two organisations will continue to remain separate.

Introducing a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness is also being proposed. Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning, explained: ‘It simply doesn’t make sense for emergency services to have different premises, different back offices and different IT systems when their work is so closely related and they often share the same boundaries.

‘Directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners are accountable to the people they serve and uniquely placed to improve the way the emergency services are delivered at a local level, and we propose enabling them to take responsibility for the fire and rescue service where a local case is made.’

The closing date for response to the consultation is 23 October 2015. The consultation paper can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/enabling-closer-working-between-the-emergency-services

  • Operation Florian

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