Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is calling for more public debate over a bid to merge the emergency control rooms for Suffolk and Norfolk Police.
Mr Passmore is concerned that the proposal put forward by Norfolk’s PCC Stephen Bett to operate an integrated control room from Wymondham in Norfolk should not be a foregone conclusion.
The two PCCs met at the end of February to examine the move aimed to save £1.8m a year across both counties but Mr Passmore expressed concerns that there had not been adequate consultation.
He told the Bury Free Press: “I am not prepared to sign off without a proper comprehensive business plan and not without proper consultation.“
Mr Passmore said that many of those working in the Martlesham control room were women in part-time jobs who worked shifts around school times and it was ‘ridiculous’ to expect them to drive all the way to Wymondham.
He said: ”We need to properly recognise from the top downwards what these people do. They are not some sort of figures in a leger.
“I have not made up my mind about this. It is not a foregone conclusion that we will carry on regardless of any consultation.”
Mr Passmore said there were other ways of making savings including further sharing of back room services such as HR, payroll and finance functions as well as sharing more buildings. The county already operates four shared police and fire service buildings.
On Tuesday he was visiting the Martlesham control room and members of the Police Federation. He will also be briefing all Suffolk MPs and an online consultation has been set up.
“We know these things can be done and we can do more of them. The ideas are there rather than rushing into this. We are talking about a public service. “I want to reiterate I am trying to be very straight with people. This is not a question of we’ll consult but we’ll do it anyway.” To have your say go to www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk