One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Bed's Police Control Rooms To Merge
999 calls in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire could be handled by just one control centre.
The counties' three Police and Crime Commissioners and three Chief Constables say there is sufficient evidence to develop a Full Business Case for the merger.
If it gets the go ahead 999 calls, non-emergency contact and crime recording will take place in one centre instead of three, saving at least £5 million a year.
Olly Martins, Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said "The funding that we receive from the government is reducing year on year, so this joint working is a way of making savings and becoming more efficient in a way that avoids having to make reductions to frontline police strength."
He also believes there will be further benefits to the merger "Say you get an incident on the M1, you'll then get a deluge of calls coming from the public into the control room, and often that's difficult for a small force like Bedford to handle that volume of calls. By bringing together the recources of three forces, I think it will mean that the three working together are better able to handle these spikes in demand that we sometimes see."
A full business case is being prepared for the spring, if it's agreed then the changes could be rolled out in the next 12 months.
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