Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Stephen Watson, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Jamie Courtney, Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings and Chair of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Chris Lamb, have today signed the joint collaboration agreement to outline the terms and vision of the collaborative work between the organisations.

The strategic agreement formalises the roles, responsibilities, aims and objectives of the partnership to build on the existing and effective collaborations achieved so far.

The successful collaboration programme between South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was launched to build on and develop existing and future activities undertaken in collaboration between both organisations.

This programme, which began in early 2017, has already led to the creation of a Joint Police and Fire Station in Maltby, Rotherham, the development of a Joint Community Safety Department and the appointment of a Head of Joint Vehicle Fleet Management and Head of Joint Estates and Facilities Management.

This collaborative work continues to grow and develop and will see the organisations co-operating together to carry out joint public service functions, identify solutions and enable sharing of best practice.

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Stephen Watson said: “This collaboration between South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will ensure that we can give the best possible service to the public, in a cost effective way. We have successfully worked in collaboration with the fire service for a number of years and this agreement now formalises that activity. “

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Chris Lamb, said: “The Fire Authority and its members fully support the provision of a strong fire and rescue service, including the pursuit of close working with other emergency services where there is a clear benefit to local people. We hope that the signing of this agreement will help to continue our strong progress in this area.”

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “Whilst there is now a legal duty on all emergency services to work more closely together, for us the real benefits of collaboration with the police, ambulance and other fire services are to the communities we serve. Whilst we still believe each of the emergency services should retain their own unique skills, brand and specialisms, we want to show local people that we are serious about providing them with the most efficient and most effective services possible. The signing of this agreement helps to demonstrate our commitment to that goal.”

Dr Alan Billings South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I very much welcome this Collaboration Agreement as a first step in greater working together.

“The motivation is to make for more effective working together; but it will also enable savings to be made, as in the case of some joint appointments.

“I am sure the public will support bringing these two vital public services together to make South Yorkshire a safer place.”