A SUCCESSFUL trial at Corringham fire station has led to the further roll-out of joint working between Essex police and fire services.
Across the county police community policing teams now have access to a number of fire stations and can use them as drop in locations for when they are deployed to certain areas on duty.
It means that police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables can spend more time being visible to the public instead of travelling to and from police stations – a real benefit especially in the more rural areas of Essex.
The Essex Emergency Services Collaboration Team based at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service set up the ‘co-use’ scheme following successful trials at Manningtree and Corringham Fire Stations, which were launched in April and August respectively last year.
After expansion of the scheme Chelmsford and Maldon Community Policing Team now have access to Burnham Fire Station, Braintree & Uttlesford Community Policing Team can now use Halstead and Coggeshall fire stations and Brentwood & Epping Forest Community Policing Team can use Ingatestone Fire Station.
Not open to public
However, these fire stations are not open to the public to report crime. If people need to contact Essex Police, they should do so in the usual way, either by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency or online https://www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online/.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This is a great example of collaboration in action – fire and police working together to make communities feel safer, using our resources in the most efficient way.”
Jo Turton, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As part of our commitment to working together, we are exploring which fire stations in our county could be suitable for our Essex Police colleagues to use when they are on duty.
“These arrangements give us an opportunity to work closer together, to understand what each service does, build relationships and provide a comfortable space for colleagues to use.”
Chief Inspector Leigh Norris, Essex Police’s Emergency Services Collaboration Programme Lead, said: “These co-use arrangements form part our continued commitment to work closely with our partners to ensure resources are used in the most effective way to help us provide the best service we can to our residents.
“As well as giving our Community Policing Teams the chance to work closely with ECFRS, build relationships and understand what each services does, the drop in arrangement will help reduce their travel to and from police stations, particularly in the north of the county where some of our policing areas are large and rural.
“Being able to drop in at the fire stations and work without having to return to base will mean our community policing teams can be more active and more visible in their communities.”