The Strategic Alliance
What is a Strategic Alliance?
Police forces across the country have had to make significant savings, as part of the Government Comprehensive Spending Review.
Home Secretary Theresa May has made it clear that police forces are not allowed to consider mergers. As a result, in August 2015, the Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire agreed to explore the potential of further collaboration below the rank of Chief Constable, to share resources and better protect the public.
The Strategic Alliance is the term used for this programme of work.
It was agreed for research to be carried out to establish if a Strategic Alliance was viable operationally, financially and politically. A dedicated Strategic Alliance team, based at Leicestershire Police HQ, was brought together to produce a ‘proof of concept’, which was deemed to be viable.
Following this decision in December 2015, the Strategic Alliance team were tasked with producing a business case with in-depth information, and is now developing a blueprint design of how the Alliance could work, based on simplified and standardised policies, processes and management structures.
If the blueprint proves to be viable, a full Strategic Alliance could be in place by 2020.
What does this mean for the public?
The public will see benefits from a Strategic Alliance in terms of the service provided. There are already a number of collaborations across the East Midlands which may result in an officer or member of staff from outside their county dealing with an incident. For instance – a roads policing officer from Leicestershire may attend a crash in Northamptonshire or Nottinghamshire, and vice versa.
Local policing is one of the fundamental principles of the Strategic Alliance. We want to maintain local knowledge in local areas to ensure the best possible service for the public.
A Strategic Alliance offers more resilience, more integration and consistency, which will ultimately give the public the best service we can provide for the money we have available. We also need to look at how we can deliver a wide range of services differently and work with partners to ensure the right organisation is dealing with the appropriate issues. Technology, for example, can help open up new channels of communication and enable people to do things such as report and track their crime online or talk to an officer online.
The Strategic Alliance will enable further investment in frontline services to meet the changing demands of policing e.g. cyber crime, but what is paramount is the public continues to receive the best service possible.
The public will be kept up to date as the Alliance develops. However most changes will be to internal structures and operating models so will not be noticeable to local people.