• Changes to what’s referred to as the Tri-Force police agreement will lead to improved policing of roads in Gloucestershire, says the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
  • The new arrangement will also produce a relevant firearms capability which addresses the needs of Gloucestershire and its special characteristics and is also networked with the rest of UK Policing.
  • PCC Martin Surl said, “This has been received by some as Gloucestershire pulling-out but there has been no big-fall out. We are still working with Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire as we do with other forces”.
  • New collaborative arrangements involving Gloucestershire, Avon and Somerset and Wiltshire forces will come into effect in April 2019

A more visible police presence on the streets of Gloucestershire and an improved firearms capability around the region are the aims of a new collaboration agreement between three police forces in the West.

Firearms will benefit from being in a three-force collaboration

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl and Chief Constable Rod Hansen are working on a new strategy for policing the county’s road network.

They are also collaborating with PCCs and chief constables in Avon and Somerset and Wiltshire on integrating Gloucestershire’s firearms capability to deliver local and strategic firearms policing requirements.

Under amendments to the current Tri-Force arrangement, which were drawn-up in 2012, dog sections will also return to local command and control.

Martin spoke to Dogs Unit Officers during his Neighbourhood Tour this summer

Changes to Tri-Force have been under review for several months and will officially come into practice next April. Mr. Surl believes they will enhance local policing and bolster areas most affected by recent cutbacks.

“Specialist policing of Gloucestershire’s roads has understandably deteriorated due to financial cuts and in my view effective policing of the strategic road network has all but vanished. I do not believe this is acceptable or sustainable”, he said.

“No-one’s happy with it. We rarely see specialist roads police in our rural areas and I’m not happy there are too few on the motorways. We need those officers and their expertise back under the control of Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable to support our neighbourhood and response teams.

“I’ve asked the chief constable to re-design roads policing in our county and he’s doing that now.

Roads Policing officers will be able to reach more areas of the county

“On firearms, we have a new joint training centre that we need to get the best out of. We need to ensure that the terms of the new arrangement on firearms not only effectively addresses the needs of Gloucestershire and its special characteristics but is also networked with the rest of UK Policing.

“The police need to refine and improve their command structures so they can transition very quickly from day to day routine business into a full scale attack from a terrorist should it occur.

“That is just one of the requirements which has changed since Tri-Force began and why the original agreement needs reviewing.

Firearms officers are currently approved for deployment through the on-duty Inspector in the Force Control Room

“This has been received by some as Gloucestershire pulling-out but there has been no big-fall out. We are still working with Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire as we do with other forces where it works for Gloucestershire and there is mutual benefit”.