Belfast Telegraph

Baggott hails Police and Fire Games

The World Police and Fire Games in Belfast will provide an opportunity for emergency services from around the world to develop new working partnerships, Northern Ireland's Chief Constable has said.

Matt Baggott also claimed the sporting events over the coming 10 days were an opportunity to showcase all that was good about the region.

Northern Ireland's senior officer was addressing an audience of international police, fire and prison service members at a conference in Belfast ahead of the Games' opening ceremony in the city on Thursday night.

The two-day "Partnerships in Safety" conference focusing on knowledge-sharing between organisations was arranged to try to make the most of so many senior emergency service chiefs being in one place at one time.

Mr Baggott told delegates at Titanic Belfast: "All of us will take a step back in the next day or so and think about the challenges of international austerity, monetary pressures, international communications, global movements - the challenges to do more with less are ever greater."

He said the lesson he had learned from four years as chief constable in Northern Ireland was that working in partnership was crucial.

"We can achieve absolutely nothing without relationships," he said.

"We can achieve absolutely nothing without partnerships that are more than talking, we need to learn to give and share, not just the expertise, but the confidence that comes with seeing achievements.

"I believe that partnerships here at the moment are delivering safety in way that's unprecedented.

"Partnership is the only way forward both politically, practically and in terms of the emergency services."

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