Bedfordshire covers an area of approximately 123,500 hectares and has a growing population of approximately 600,000. The area is principally rural and incorporates a several market towns, including Ampthill, Biggleswade, Woburn and Leighton Buzzard. Larger towns include Bedford, Kempston, Luton, Stopsley and Dunstable.
The service covers a large and diverse community as well as London Luton Airport, and a significant road network including the M1 and A1(M) motorways. Bedfordshire is growing as a national distribution hub and has a number of large industrial sites and warehouses. One of the busiest commuter rail links in the country runs from Bedford south to London and beyond. There is a significant stock of heritage buildings and environmental sites of special interest. Countywide rivers present the service with problems during spate flooding conditions.
To protect its communities and respond to emergency calls the service has 14 fire stations and an emergency communication centre.
For over 160 years, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has independently assessed and reported on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and policing, in the public interest.
In summer 2017, HMIC (now HMICFRS) took on inspections of England’s fire & rescue services, assessing and reporting on their efficiency, effectiveness and leadership.