Concern over Home Office plan to merge emergency services control rooms

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CONCERNS have been raised over plans to combine emergency service control rooms.

Mike Penning, police minister at the Home Office, said police, fire and ambulance services should combine control rooms.

Currently Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport and Fareham are covered by Hampshire police, South Central Ambulance Service and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Each runs its own control room, although the police and fire now share a headquarters building.

But John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, has raised concerns about the announcement.

Posting on Twitter he said: ‘Sharing buildings & working effectively together is one thing but this goes too far & will undermine both services.’

He added: ‘Just retain individual skills from each #999 service, no major issue with sharing floor space & technology but not people.’

Mr Penning also wants to introduce a statutory duty for the services to collaborate.

It comes after plans were unveiled last year that would allow a senior fire officer to become a chief constable.