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Local communities have backed proposals for West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner to also govern local fire services, with the aim of improving services.

A change in the law means it is possible for the Commissioner to also become the governing body for both Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, where a local case is made. More than 1,300 responses were received during the three month consultation, of which 61% said they supported the idea.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “My focus throughout this process has been on building a safer West Mercia and delivering the best services for our communities.”

“I have engaged with thousands of people on this subject over the last few months in a number of different ways and I am grateful to everyone who took part in the consultation. Their message is clear: Our communities expect their emergency services to collaborate properly in order to improve services and they want resources prioritised towards vital frontline officers and equipment.”

“I have always said I was open minded about this subject and would be guided by our communities. I will listen to their views in determining what happens next, as well as taking on feedback from other stakeholders.”

An initial business case from independent experts suggests a change to having a single Commissioner for local police and fire services could enable greater collaboration and improve services for local communities.

Issued: Wednesday 20th September 2017