In recent years, policing has been subject to an increased number of demands, challenges and policy initiatives.
In response, the Constabulary has turned to collaborative working by building on existing partnerships as well as examining further areas of work.
View the key strategic themes that provide the background to the Force's approach to collaboration.
In March 2008, the Force signed up to the Southwest One joint venture, forming a partnership with IBM, Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council, as a major step towards achieving these strategic objectives.
Southwest One involves improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a number of back office support functions as well as customer-facing facilities, combined with an ambitious programme of transformation projects. This has included the launch of new computer software for our finance, procurement and human resources functions.
Southwest One has resulted in significant savings for Avon and Somerset, and will continue to do so in the future.
For more details about Southwest One visit:
The Avon and Somerset Police Authority website
Southwest One's innovative collaborative approach to improving police services does not exist in isolation and sits alongside our active involvement in the South West Regional Collaboration Programme and numerous other strategic collaborations such as:
Collaboration initiatives currently in place are:
- Avon and Somerset Police Community Trust – Formed to help local communities in Avon and Somerset become safer, better places to live. It supports projects and schemes that work towards reducing crime and the fear of crime in the communities where we work and live.
- Brunel - Collaboration of Major Crime and Special Branch units within Avon and Somerset and Wiltshire police forces. The collaboration formally went live in January 2011 and strives to ensure greater resilience and improved responsiveness become the hallmarks of the new Major Crime Investigation Team and Special Branch service operating across both force areas.
- Casualty Bureau – (Disaster Victim Identification) A regional agreement with all South West (SW) forces to provide an on call Senior Identification Manager on rotation. The agreement covers the activation of Casualty Bureau and the use of CASWEB and MIRWEB computer applications which all forces, not just the SW can link into. It also covers the roles and numbers required so that each force in the SW can support the others should it be necessary to activate Casualty Bureau for a major incident.
- Counter Terrorism Unit – Collaboration across the SW to deal with the threat posed to the region by terrorist organisations. Over the last two years it has supported two major counter terrorism operations and a number of terrorist investigations in collaboration with the Security Service.
- Crimestoppers – A national initiative to provide intelligence on all crime as well as nationwide 24/7 call handling.
- Digital Interview Recording (IR) (Regional Tier 1) – National (NPIA) framework allows for mini tenders to maintain competition between suppliers on framework. The IR initiative involves multiple forces working together to reduce costs and impact on procurement departments. Being led by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.
- Drug Interventions Programme – A government programme to tackle drugs and reduce crime.
- Emergency Planning – Avon and Somerset Constabulary fully engages with, and Chairs the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (ASLRF) which is a multi agency partnership (including, but not limited to the other emergency services, NHS, Local Authorities and Environment Agency) ensuring the effective delivery of the statutory duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 for the force area.
- Forensic - North West, South West and Wales Forensic Analytical Services Contract – Ground-breaking strategic partnership founded by Avon and Somerset Constabulary to provide investigators in 14 forces with improved forensic services improving efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness.
- Hostage and Crisis Negotiation – Avon and Somerset Constabulary arrange and run regional negotiators course on behalf of SW region. The Constabulary provides a Negotiator Co-ordinator, primarily used within Force but the role carries out research, projects on behalf of the region. The SW region is looking at interoperability of the CLIO system, a standard operating procedure and the ability for each force’s system to link into each other for joint investigations.
- IT Systems (Regional Tier 1 - ICT Convergence) – Avon & Somerset Constabulary collaborates with a number of forces and other partners e.g. councils, to ensure IT systems enhance sharing of good practice, information and efficiencies are delivered where possible e.g. GUARDIAN, STORM and antisocial behaviour databases.
- Kidnap and Extortion – Ongoing initiative across SW region, facilitating interoperability and resilience to provide support and learning.
- Mounted Section – As the only mounted section in the region, Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides mutual aid and in the last 12 months has done so for every force in the SW region.
- Operation Liberal – A national operation combating domestic distraction burglaries, doorstep artifice crime and rogue traders.
- Operational Planning – Working with forces in SW and Wales to conduct joint exercises and facilitate mutual aid.
- Partner Funding for police officers and PCSOs – To increase police and PCSOs presence in specific areas of the region.
- Public Order Training - Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides specialist training for forces in SW region.
- SAP – The Constabulary in collaboration with IBM, Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council has delivered a self service employee related pay system and associated modules e.g. Finance and Procurement.
- Sexual Assault Referral Centre – Working with partners e.g. University Health Bristol and Safer Bristol Crime and Disorder Partnership, to improve services to victims of sexual assault.
- Southwest One (SWOne) (Joint Venture Company) - Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council with IBM have formed an innovative partnership to transform their organisations and deliver more efficient and cost-effective corporate services for the next 10 years via a joint venture company called Southwest One. Its high level objectives include: to improve access to frontline services; to improve productivity through investment in technologies; to provide an excellent working environment.
- Specialist Tactic Unit – Joint Avon and Somerset and South Wales Police Unit tackling serious and organised crime.
- Surveillance - Avon and Somerset Constabulary provides mobile surveillance mutual aid to forces in SW region. SW forces meet together with Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit to discuss interoperability and resilience for surveillance providing support and learning. The South West, 3 Welsh forces and the Home Office meet to discuss interoperability and resilience for Technical Support Unit providing support and learning. The group is currently looking at three areas for full collaboration across the region.
- Underwater Search Unit – Avon and Somerset lead a partnership with Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset & Hampshire forces, providing diving services in return for specialist training.
- Uniform Procurement – A SW regional approach to uniform purchases to deliver more efficient and cost-effective uniform procurement.
- Visual Investigation Unit – The Constabulary has collaborated with Poland to enable funding of visual investigation services across Avon & Somerset Constabulary and Voivodeship Police, Krakow.
- Western Counties Air Operations Unit – A partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary to provide helicopter air support.
- Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) – Working with partners e.g. Probation Service and Social Services, to respond to the needs of young offenders in a comprehensive way to reduce re-offending.
- Zephyr - A SW regional crime group set up to destroy, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime across the South West of England. It consists of all forces in the region bringing together the capability and funding to gather intelligence, crack serious and organised crime networks and seize the assets of the criminals involved. The Zephyr team also works with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, the UK Border Agency, the South-West Trading Standards Enforcement Team and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Examples of collaboration initiatives currently in development are:
- Accommodation – Avon & Somerset Constabulary collaborates with a number of partners e.g. councils, Probation, Crown Prosecution Service, to co-locate/integrate business processes in addition to making facility and management savings e.g. Kingswood Civic Centre.
- Airwave Max – Currently investigating the potential for savings via increased utilization of national Airwave infrastructure.
- CCTV – The Constabulary is looking to increase the sharing of CCTV through opportunities for increased utilisation of existing facilities across the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area.
- Contact Management – In partnership with SWOne innovative new ways of managing our contact with the public have been developed. These new ways of working are currently being rolled out, which includes a regional communications resilience capability.
- e-Commerce Solution (Regional Tier 1) - Looking to build a resilient hosting platform for our multi-force website systems. The proposal is to increase our in house website hosting capacity and resilience, with an aim to host regional and national police web solutions (e.g. TrackMyCrime and the new website service known as V4).
- Firearms Operations – The harmonisation of firearms services across the SW regional forces to enable forces to operate and train to a consistent level, and provide greater efficiencies and value for money. New firearms training facilities form part of a major accommodation Private Finance Initiative programme.
- Information Exchange – Initiative being lead by Fire and Rescue Service to improve information exchange across the South West public sector agencies e.g. Police, NHS, through enhanced use of Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSX).
- Learning and Development (Regional Tier 1) – Regional collaboration to improve interoperability, ensuring reduced duplication of planning and design and the best use of resources in areas of common delivery.
- Local Enterprise Partnership - Superfast Broadband in Somerset - Avon and Somerset Constabulary are working in support of Somerset County Council. Joint requirements developed for future of local networked infrastructure in Somerset, particularly in rural areas. This work relates to a bid for "Superfast Broadband funding" underway at Somerset County Council.
- Police Recruitment – SW regional police forces are seeking to collaborate on pre-assessment and initial recruitment of police officers.
- Procurement of police firearms & armoury management system - To provide a single application across the SW region for the management of police firearms and police armouries.
- Regional Communication Resilience - Development of regional resilience for the control room, emergency and non-emergency call handling.
- Regional Holmes 2 (Major Crime Investigation IT System) (Regional Tier 1) - ASC and Wiltshire merged system scheduled to go-live in summer 2011. Lessons learned to be used to develop project plan for remainder of SW region.
- Specialist Support Policing Services – Telephony SPOC - To improve efficiency and make financial savings by collaborating in respect of specialist support services. To include introduction of a regional source and covert management system and shared service in respect of Telephony enquiries.
- Technical Support Unit – proposed collaboration around serious and organised crime with forces in SW region and Wales.
- Transactional Processes (Regional Tier 1) – To improve efficiency and make financial savings by investigating the possibilities of collaborating regionally in 5 areas of business; Foreign Nationals, Driver Awareness, PentiP, Ticket Issuing and Insurance Requests.
We also work collaboratively with national and international partners on matters of security.
In addition, there are elements of police work that cannot be discussed here that involve Avon and Somerset Constabulary working in partnership with other forces both regionally and nationally.