Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, writing in The Guardian, says that the police and other emergency services are looking ahead to years of austerity and that a host of radical changes must be made if public safety is to be maintained.
One of his suggestions is to share support services wherever possible to ‘make them as efficient as the best of the private sector’.
He said: “That means opening up all but core policing functions to competition. For example, why in London do we need three emergency services separately handling 999 calls and making similar deployments?
“Bring them together and it would be cheaper to run and more effective. With each blue light service responsible to a different ministry, there are obstacles to change.”
He asks whether the next government will be brave enough to bring together public safety services, although he admits it is a risk.
“But,” he said. “There’s a bigger risk to public safety if we don’t take radical action.”
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.