Lincolnshire police chief promotes ‘blueprint’ force collaboration as Chancellor visits region

Joint efforts by police forces in the East Midlands, including Lincolnshire, to reduce costs and improve services have been applauded by Chancellor George Osborne on his visit to the region.

The Chancellor attended an early morning briefing with chief constables from the East Midlands, including Lincolnshire Police’s Neil Rhodes, to learn more about the East Midlands Operational Support Service.

The scheme, known as EMOpSS, is a collaboration between Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Police, established in December 2013.

EMOpSS provides roads policing, armed policing and firearms training, specialist search, specialist and general purpose dog support, and collision investigation to the 2.9 million people living in the four counties.

At the half hour meeting held at Nottinghamshire Police HQ on January 8, the chief constables were able to pitch the success of the service to the Chancellor, and describe how it could be used as a “blueprint” for the rest of the country.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes. Photo: The Lincolnite

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes. Photo: The Lincolnite

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said: “The service has real advantages in improving the quality of service, driving costs down and ensuring that our forces across the region remain resilient.

“It’s encouraging that such a senior politician as the Chancellor came on board and listen to our ideas. He wanted to know about the advantages we’ve found from our collaboration, particularly around the financial efficiencies we’ve delivered.”

Around 600 EMOpSS officers operate across the region, with the service generating savings of approximately £4 million.

Despite this, it is highly unlikely that any of the savings made by the service would be kept by the forces and reinvested into policing.

Chief Constable Rhodes added: “The East Midlands is already regarded as a pathfinder with a strong track record on delivering a quality, affordable service, with shared benefits.

“We welcome any future visits from the Chancellor and look forward to his seal of approval by using this scheme as a blueprint across the country.”