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27 January 2015, 06:00
999 calls in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire 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.
The Full Business Case will look at a collaborated approach to Public Contact services which includes 999 calls, non-emergency contact and crime recording.
Work is now underway to fully develop the proposal to move to fewer locations, possibly one or two, to deliver Public Contact services. The final proposal will be presented in the spring.
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.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright said: “This is an important step and represents the next major phase of an historic collaboration between the three forces. Crucially, this agreement will pave the way for Cambridgeshire Constabulary to work more efficiently to meet our tough spending targets while at the same time minimise the impact on local policing in the county. It will help the forces to meet the £68m funding gap over the next four years.
“I am therefore delighted that the Strategic Alliance has been able to come together and agree to further explore the proposal to move to one or two control room(s) serving the three counties.
“The three forces have an established track record of successful collaboration and I am confident that this success can be built on with this agreement.”
Chief Constable Simon Parr added: “The operational and financial advantages of joining specialist units together have already been proven. By collaborating the control rooms we will have greater resilience to deal with emergency and non-emergency calls plus manage demand on policing services.”