‘WE REMAIN opposed to any attempt to turn firefighters into law enforcement, either in Devon and Somerset, or elsewhere in the country,’ Dave Green, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) national officer said yesterday.
He was responding to the shock announcement that firefighters have been trained up as special police constables dubbed ‘super cops’.
Seven members of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have just completed two months of legal and practical training and are ready to start work as police officers across the region.
Green said: ‘Independence from the police is vital to ensure that communities know firefighters exist to save lives, not to enforce the law.
‘Firefighters provide a humanitarian service, which often allows access to areas of the community that the police sometimes struggle to engage with.
‘The FBU is strongly opposed to any measures which undermine the neutrality of fire and rescue services in the eyes of the public.
‘The FBU has voiced concerns locally, but police in the area have decided to proceed with the programme.’
The seven ‘super cops’ will be based in the areas of Cullompton, Crediton, Dartmouth, Honiton, Okehampton, Newton Abbot and Totnes.