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Crime: Protective Services

Volume 694: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Security, Counterterrorism, Crime and Policing (Tony McNulty) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing that 30 police forces across England and Wales will be taking part in a new programme aimed at establishing new collaborative arrangements for combating serious organised crime and other threats to public safety (also known as protective services).

The Home Office will support 10 separate initiatives by police forces and authorities to become demonstrator sites for joint-working solutions to deliver greater capability and capacity in a range of protective services.

The initiatives that will be supported are:

Police Forces and Authorities


Avon and Somerset/Devon and Cornwall/Dorset/Wiltshire/Gloucestershire

South-west Region Shared Services Programme—delivering operational and back-office services through collaboration

Cheshire/Cumbria/Lancashire/Merseyside/North Wales

North-west Regional Cross-Border Crime Team—establishing a joint team tackling serious organised crime


Police Firearms Resources—developing a joint firearms unit


Witness Protection—establishing a dedicated joint witness protection team including the refinement of policies, procedures and best practice

Dyfed-Powys/Gwent/North Wales/South Wales

Public Protection—improving the delivery across the region of public protection (child protection, sex offender and serious offender management, domestic violence, vulnerable adult abuse and missing persons)

Dyfed-Powys/Gwent/North Wales/South Wales

Major Crime and Serious Organised and Cross-Border Crime—exploring collaborative approaches to delivering these services across the forces in Wales


Project Forefront—developing and implementing a co-ordinated and integrated strategic command capability, improving operational delivery of policing services to the Thames estuary, sea ports, airports and the strategic roads network


Major Crime Collaboration—establishing a collocated major crime capability

Humberside/North Yorkshire/South Yorkshire/West Yorkshire

Regional Undercover Unit/Human Resources Policies—creating a unit to provide a policy lead, training and support infrastructure to undercover officers and exploring the potential for integrating employment frameworks, terms and conditions and human resources policies


Joining Forces Programme—drawing together protective services into an integrated specialist operations command covering both force areas

These initiatives have been selected from 22 bids to provide a balanced programme across England and Wales to explore and develop the models of collaboration between forces that can deliver these vital services to protect the public more effectively and more efficiently.

Collaborative working is a key part of a national programme of work that the Government are taking forward, in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities, to improve the way in which the police combat serious organised crime and other threats to public safety. All police forces will be expected to meet newly developed protective service standards. Forces will need to collaborate to do this and the demonstration sites initiative will help to ensure that all forces can learn from the experiences of these sites and make use of their best practice.

The selected demonstrator sites will together be offered £3.7 million in Home Office funding to contribute to their start-up costs and they will take part in an evaluation process to be managed by the National Policing Improvement Agency, which will monitor and measure their progress and delivery of benefits and develop a shared body of knowledge for the police service.