The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced measures enabling PCCs to submit proposals to the Home Secretary to take on responsibility for the governance of fire and rescue in their area. The Government is clear that this does not entail a takeover of the fire service by police. The important distinction between operational policing and fire-fighting will be maintained.
The Secretary of State can only make an order transferring governance to a PCC if it appears to him that it would be in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, or public safety, to do so. The Secretary of State cannot approve a proposal where a transfer of governance would have an adverse effect on public safety. Part of this assessment involves consideration of the economic basis of the proposal.