AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled to co-locate the headquarters of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and Hampshire Constabulary.

The move follows a period of greater integration between the two services. In recent years the two organisations have successfully co-located police officers and support staff into shared facilities within HFRS buildings in Redbridge, Alresford, and Stockbridge.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “This is another example of how Hampshire's emergency services are leading the way.

“We all have to be prepared to think differently if we are to maintain a high level of service.”

The latest plans are the first of their kind in the country. The move will see 100 senior police officers and support staff based at the HFRS’s new strategic headquarters on Leigh Road next to the M3.

Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, said: “It is only by investing in joint-working initiatives such as this that we will be able to protect people and places locally while ensuring that the police’s estate is cost-effective and fit for purpose.”

Hampshire Constabulary has received £1m from the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund to help finance the move.

Hampshire Fire Authority chairman Royston Smith said: “This partnership which will increase the occupancy of underused buildings and enable us to protect services is a win-win situation for us and the public.”