Police and fire trial joint response car in Northamptonshire

The rural intervention vehicle which is being used by Northamptonshire Police and Northants Fire and Rescue in Oundle and the surrounding villages
The rural intervention vehicle which is being used by Northamptonshire Police and Northants Fire and Rescue in Oundle and the surrounding villages

Northamptonshire Police and the county fire service are
sharing vehicles as part of moves towards closer working in rural areas.

A 12-month trial of the new rural intervention vehicle, branded with both police 
and fire logos, began in the north of the county in the autumn.

Staffed by a police officer and a fire officer, the vehicle helps each service increase their visibility in rural areas.

Chief Inspector Dennis Murray said putting resources into a single vehicle had already brought benefits.

He added: “The introduction of the rural intervention team has been a very practical example of how police and fire can work together on the ground to the benefit of local people.

“The jointly-crewed vehicle has improved the visibility and accessibility of police and fire services in rural areas, as well as enhancing support to local people in areas such as crime and fire prevention and dealing with ongoing local problems,” he said.

Fire service area manager Shaun Hallam added: “This has been a very welcome initiative that’s helping to improve the service we provide to our rural communities.

“Many local issues can involve both fire and police services, so having a team working together on a day-to-day basis means we can provide a quicker and more comprehensive response, from providing support and advice at an incident or working with the farming community to improve fire safety and security, to supporting local officers in finding solutions to an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour.”

County police commissioner Adam Simmonds has been driving closer working between the blue light services since his election.

Gez Jackson, the chairman of Northamptonshire Police Federation – the body which represents rank-and-file 
police officers – said the initiative could be a positive 
one.