Latest Public Sector News

22.06.12

Private firms could take over crime investigation

The majority of police services will be privatised within the next five years, the world’s biggest security firm has predicted

West Midlands and Surrey police are currently discussing outsourcing policing activities such as investigating crimes, detaining suspects, supporting victims and providing legal services in a £1.5bn deal.

It has emerged that ten other forces are considering outsourcing deals.

Head of G4S for theUKandAfrica, David Taylor-Smith said: “For most members of the public what they will see is the same or better policing and they really don’t care who is running the fleet, the payroll or the firearms licensing – they don’t really care.

“Our view was, look, we would never try to take away core policing functions from the police but for a number of years it has been absolutely clear as day to us – and to others – that the configuration of the police in the UK is just simply not as effective and as efficient as it could be.

“I have always found it somewhere between patronising and insulting the notion that the public sector has an exclusive franchise on some ethos, spirit, morality – it is just nonsense.

“The thought that everyone in the private sector is primarily motivated by profit and that is why they come to work is just simply not accurate … we employ 675,000 people and they are primarily motivated by pretty much the same as would motivate someone in the public sector.”

The forces considering outsourcing some services are Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire,ThamesValley,West Mercia, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Policing is not being privatised – core police functions will continue to be delivered by sworn officers and no police powers will be given to private contractors beyond the limited powers allowed by the last government.

“The private sector can help to support delivery of police services better and at lower cost, for example providing staff for control rooms and custody centres, releasing officers for frontline duties.”

But Peter Allenson, national officer of Unite, said: “This is not the back office – we are talking about the privatisation of core parts of the police service right across the country, including crime investigation, forensics, 999 call-handling, custody and detention and a wide range of police services.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. Adam Dimmick

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