Tri-Service Officer

The Tri-Service Safety Officer (TSSO) is an innovative, ever changing, adaptable and flexible role which integrates within the emergency services family. The role has been piloting for over 3 years (originally a 2 year pilot) in 2016 the project was extended for a further 18 months in order for independent evaluator Munro Research and Evaluation to gather further data in relation to the role’s activities, complexities, advantages and disadvantages.

The Tri-Service Safety Officers (TSSO) purpose is to provide a ‘supportive link’ between Devon and Cornwall Police (DCP), Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service (CFRCS) Service, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team. The role has a number of additional responsibilities such as; Safeguarding Advocate, Youth Intervention/ mentorship. The role is not a single element of the areas described above, it provides a unique and innovative approach to resolving community safety matters.

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The role targets and aligns with all of the agencies priorities in relation to protection, prevention, firefighter, medical responder and police incidents including challenging and tackling anti-social behaviour. The development of the ‘TSSO’ role builds sustainable and strong working relationships with partner agencies.

The role integrates within the Police Neighbourhood Team and assists with completing neighbourhood enquiries (101 calls made to police – non emergency). These enquiries afford the TSSO with the opportunity to identify additional areas of concern together with fire safety, safeguarding, anti-social behaviour, protection matters, youth intervention and health difficulties. This provides opportunities for an officer to assist with making agency referrals and arranging multi-agency meetings.

The TSSO role has an independent and innovative role profile is aimed at complementing and assisting the existing services and roles within each; one that specifically targets community safety matters and joint agency working.

In addition to the extension of the TSSO role at Hayle, an additional two officers have been employed in Bude and Liskeard. TSSOs Adam Chapman (Bude) and Richard Deavall (Liskeard) have been seconded from CFRCS Service and will work in partnership with DCP, SWASFT and Cornwall Council’s ASB Team to develop the role in their respective area. The officers will face varying challenges as these areas differ geographically.

In order for the services to adequately understand the outcomes from the pilot, Munro Research and Evaluation have been commissioned in order to carry out an impartial and accurate analysis of the role’s activities, advantages and the challenges that have been encountered.

The TSSO role has attracted national interest due to its innovative and collaborative approach. This has seen senior officers from other areas visit Cornwall in order for them to gain a view of the role. These visits provide our services with a great opportunity to demonstrate the ground breaking work that has been carried out since the start of the pilot in 2014. Our team have also completed a number of out of force visits to police forces and fire services in order to understand other similar projects being piloted and to discuss our own.

In December 2015 the TSSO role received national recognition following the receipt of an award for ‘Excellence in Fire and Rescue’ in the collaboration and innovation category. In 2017 the role again received national recognition following a nomination at the ‘Alarm Awards’ in Manchester where the role received a ‘Highly Commended Award’ following the positive work that had been carried out.

The evaluation will be completed by early summer and will inform future plans. Our multi service aspiration is to expand the locations of this innovative role and provide further protection and prevention to the communities of Cornwall and the South West.

South West Emergency Services Collaboration group, which includes all senior leaders of all emergency services, continue to support and promote this initiative.

Andy Hichens, TSSO Hayle
“At this time I can state that I am incredibly proud to be part of this innovative trial and remain enthusiastic and dedicated to its cause. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that I play a positive part in ensuring the TSSO roles abilities are exhausted in order for us to learn its limitations. I thank you all for the support that you have provided to both the project and me personally and recognise that the role would not have come this far without your support.”

Follow updates from the UK’s first Tri-Service Safety Officer, Andrew Hichens on Twitter @HayleTriService