A FLEXIBLE, borderless specialist policing team was one step closer to being created this week as the Tri Force Specialist Operations collaboration agreement between Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset police forces was officially signed.

The aim of the collaboration is to create a centrally managed specialist policing unit which is intelligence-led and able to meet demand at any time or place across the three forces.

The combination of firearms, dogs and roads policing teams will enhance each force’s ability to respond at times of need to protect the communities.

Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables from the three forces visited another Tri-Force collaboration – a new specialist training centre at Black Rock Quarry, Portishead, in Somerset.

And at a south west regional meeting of PCCs and Crime Chiefs today there was another milestone in collaboration when the official sign-off took place for a Special Branch collaboration across all five police forces – Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, and Dorset.

Shared investigative and intelligence functions will come together under central management to cover counter terrorism and domestic extremism across the south west.

Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said it marked a significant milestone for collaborative working between police forces and PCCs.