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Control room merger could save between £1.6m to £4.7m over next five years
8:55am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
DORSET Police are set to save millions of pounds with the merger of two control rooms, under further cost-cutting measures.
The move will see the Police Enquiry Centre in Bournemouth join the Force Control room at Dorset Police headquarters in Winfrith by March next year.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill spoke about the cost-cutting plans at the Police and Crime Panel meeting held at Dorset County Hall.
He said the move is set to make a projected saving of £1.6m to £4.7m over the next five years.
He said: “We are looking at every angle of policing to find potential areas of savings.
“The recommendation to merge the Police Enquiry Centre and Dorset Police Control room would increase operability between emergency and non-emergency services. It is projected that this move will save between £1.6 million and £4.7 million over the next five years.
“The exact savings are subject to change.”
It is hoped the move will include a number of benefits including cost savings, multi-skilled staff and ‘greater flexibility’ to cater to the public.
Before 2002, one control room in Winfrith covered Dorset and Poole with another separate cen tre specifically for Bournemouth calls. There was no equivalent of the Police Enquiry Centre in either location.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Following an extensive process of review and research, it has been recommended that the Police Enquiry Centre (PEC) and Dorset Police Control Room are combined into one single-site function to be based at Force Headquarters, Winfrith.
“This recommendation was agreed on Monday, July 22 and work is underway to progress this proposal.
“Combining our contact services on one site will bring a number of benefits to the force, including cost savings and multi-skilled staff.
“This will also mean greater flexibility to meet the demand and increase of resilience, resulting in a more efficient and effective service to the public.
“Staff are being included in the project to inform at every stage of the proposal.
“An implementation date of March 2014 has been set for the single site location, although this is subject to change.”
Members of the Police and Crime Panel took Mr Underhill up on an offer of a tour of the Winfrith site ahead of the planned move.
The panel, which functions to hold the PCC to account, is made up of representatives from the county council and all of Dorset’s borough and district councils, plus two independent members.
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