A regional daily has launched a major campaign against proposals to move its police control centre to a neighbouring county.
The East Anglian Daily Times has carried a front-page plea to abandon proposals to combine police control centres for Norfolk and Suffolk at Norfolk Police’s Wymondham HQ and save an estimated £1.844 million a year.
The Archant Suffolk title is calling for its police control room to remain in the county which has a population of around 720,000.
Editor Terry Hunt described it as a “money-saving” move which would put lives at risk and leave the county without a single emergency service control room.
“Other police forces across the country have looked at this idea and not gone ahead,” he wrote.
“In emergency situations, local knowledge and split-second decisions can make the difference between life and death. That’s why our police control room must stay in Suffolk. Lives are more important than money.”
Dozens of serving and former Suffolk police officers and staff have spoken out publicly against the plans and are among more than 2,000 people who have signed a Unison-hosted petition against the relocation.
“We are calling on our police chiefs to say no to this short-sighted proposal and seek to find the necessary financial savings in other areas, away from frontline policing,” wrote Terry.
The Unison petition’s webpage has received a torrent of impassioned pleas to keep the police control room in Suffolk.
Tim Passmore, police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, has said that he is sceptical about the proposed merger and that he will only agree to it if he believes it is in the best interests of local people.