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Cornwall gets eight new tri-service safety officers

Eight new tri-service safety officers have taken up their roles and will be out working in communities across Cornwall soon.

The eight will bring the total number of tri-service officers to 10 and will be based in St Just, Hayle, St. Ives, Fowey and Polruan, Perranporth, St. Dennis, Looe, Lostwithiel.

Tri-service safety officers primarily focus on engagement, early intervention, prevention and reducing demand for police, fire and ambulance services as well as responding to critical incidents on behalf of the fire and ambulance service.

The role is jointly funded by all three emergencies services - Devon & Cornwall Police, South Western Ambulance Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and Cornwall Fire, Rescue & Community Safety Service.

In November 2017 the new recruits began an extensive five month bespoke induction course covering all aspects of the role and on completion are trained to co-responder standard.

Whilst the role doesn’t have police powers as such, they do have powers under the community safety accreditation scheme and are able to give community safety and prevention such as advice on anti-social behaviour, installation of a smoke alarm, or any medical referral/advice.

The new TSSOs will operate within, and around a five minute response area of a fire station where they have instant access to police, fire and ambulance IT systems to enable a better immediate understanding of incidents.

In addition, a new Tri Service Safety Manager role to support and manage the team is currently being piloted.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Alison Hernandez, part-funded the development of the role as a direct result of the £12 increase paid by council tax payers for policing.

She said: “A huge amount of work has gone into making these roles a reality. Tri-Service Safety Officers make sense for the emergency services when it comes to covering rural areas, and more importantly a lot of sense to the communities across Cornwall who are welcoming them with open arms.

"This shows how innovative work in collaboration with others can deliver real opportunities to keep communities safe and put extra boots on the ground.

Last year the public backed my plans to invest in new ways for our communities to become safer. I promised people that if they paid more they would get more in return and the roll-out of Tri-Service Safety Officers across Cornwall is the start of that, as is the development of community responders in Devon. I expect to see more of both being deployed in the future.”

Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We are so pleased to welcome the new Tri-Service Safety Officers to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. We have had such success with the pilot and it’s great it’s being expanded to cover more areas. We have already seen the existing Tri-Service Safety officers provide support to the local neighbourhood teams with anti-social behaviour cases and low-level crime, as well as responding to incidents for the fire service and ambulance calls. 

"It is really positive to see the officers in the communities and the work and relationships they can achieve. We really look forward to seeing what difference the additional officers will make.”

Paul Walker, Chief Fire Officer from Cornwall Fire, Rescue & Community Safety Service, said: “I am immensely proud of what our new Tri-Service Safety Officers have achieved throughout their training. They all recognise the significant difference they can make in rural areas, the benefits of understanding rural communities, the risks, the geography and the people.

"Adopting and embracing flexible ways to work, engaging with vulnerable people and supporting community needs in a 999 and Safeguarding context is a challenging, worthwhile and rewarding role. We have the right people passing out here today to make a genuine difference, I look forward to monitoring their progress and wish them all every success with their new careers.”

Robert Horton, Responder Programmes Manager, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This initiative is the only multi-service role in the country which focuses on prevention. The attention to prevention reduces the long term impact on emergency response and demand to our emergency services. The opportunity to expand this initiative is fantastic and demonstrates the commitment made by the emergency services in Cornwall to do things differently for our communities.

"The Trust is delighted to be part of this unique initiative which has demonstrated in Hayle, Liskeard and Bude that this really does work. We are excited for these new locations to see the benefits of the role.”

To find out more about your local Tri-Service Safety Officer visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website.