Following extensive consultation the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd MP, has today announced that Essex will be the first area in the country to move to joint governance of the police and the fire and rescue service.

This means that from October the 1st, Roger Hirst, current Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, will become the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. While this is a significant change it will not alter Roger Hirst's ongoing commitment to policing and community safety in the county and will indeed provide new opportunities to improve the services the people of Essex benefit from.

This decision will help both services build on the existing strong relationship they have and ensure even closer working in the future. While each organisation will retain their own identity and their own chief officer, by implementing joint governance the strategies of both organisations will be able to be aligned to help deliver a better service for the public.

The Local Business Case developed to look at the possible benefits identified £23 million over the next ten years which could be reinvested in front line services. At the same time a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs and sharing buildings and some enabling functions will be able further to improve both services.

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