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Police call centre could be merged with Leicestershire

Posted on May 19 2010
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Under the new structure, a single contact number would be introduced for the two East Midlands forces, while incidents across both counties could soon be dealt with by trained call handlers in one centre. The proposed new command and control, which would cost Northamptonshire alone £1.5 million, has been put forward as a solution to major budget constraints which both forces are facing in coming years.

A report to be submitted to Northamptonshire Police Authority, which was released yesterday, said the merger aimed to "maximise efficiency and minimise risks".
Bob Smart, head of Northamptonshire's force communications centre, said in the report: "The Command and Control Replacement strategy and governance structures are designed primarily to ensure that both forces implement their systems in such a way that public safety is not compromised. 
"The second objective is to save money wherever possible, through collaborative opportunities. If the force does not collaborate, the longer-term opportunity to share services will be lost," he added.
"There are considerable cultural, organisational, political, procedural, technical, communicative, marketing and process re-engineering difficulties to overcome but the concept of collaborative Command & Control is the ultimate vision of both forces."
The paper suggests that a common call handling number could be developed by the end of 2012, while one force could be asked to manage calls on behalf of the other at times of reduced demand.
Other elements could see a common recruitment process for the new unit, while a "virtual call centre" could be created which would handle incidents in both counties.
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