Police invite security firms to bid for roles

The plan talks about private firms being involved in patrolling neighbourhoods

3 March 2012 Last updated at 12:18

Private security firms could investigate some crimes and patrol neighbourhoods under plans being drawn up for police in England and Wales.

The West Midlands and Surrey forces have invited bids for contracts from private firms, on behalf of all forces.

They could provide services such as victim support but not making arrests.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she was “very worried” at the pressure police are under to “cross the line” because of government cuts.

“The police have today confirmed that they are pursuing these contracts as a result of the financial pressures they face,” she said.

“Yet the possibility of including the management of high-risk individuals, patrolling public places or pursuing criminal investigations in large private sector contracts rather than core professional policing raises very serious concerns.”

Chairman of the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz said he was worried about some of the potential implications.

“Britain’s policing is founded on accountability to the public,'” he said.

“Plans to privatise its frontline, particularly on the eve of the election of police and crime commissioners, is a cause for concern.”

The Police Federation has also expressed fears about the proposal.

This is an extremely dangerous road to take,” said vice-chairman Simon Reed.

The priority of private companies within policing will be profit and not people, and we must not forget, they are answerable to their shareholders and not to to the public we serve.

This is not a solution. Chief officers must no longer bury their heads in the sand; they should instead stand up for what is right for the public and protect the police service from any further dismantling by this government.”

BBC political correspondent Louise Stewart said the West Midlands and Surrey forces had been working together since early last year.

This is the first time the extent of their plans to involve the private sector in “middle and back office functions” have become clear.

They emerge at a time of 20% cuts to police budgets over four years, with Home Secretary Theresa May suggesting forces could protect “front-line policing” by delegating some work to the private sector.
Police station

Our correspondent says the two forces have invited bids from firms including G4S, the world’s largest security firm, to deliver a number of services currently undertaken by the police.

They include responding to and investigating incidents, supporting victims and witnesses, managing high-risk individuals and patrolling neighbourhoods.

G4S already have a £200m contract with Lincolnshire Police under which half the force’s civilian staff will join the private company, which will also build and run a police station.

In a statement, the Home Office said of the plans: “Private companies will not be able to arrest suspects, and they will not be solely responsible for investigating crime.”

The contract has a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years but could rise to £3.5bn, depending on how many other forces signed up, our correspondent adds.

That would make it the largest contract to date for a private company to provide police services.

Chief Superintendent Phil Kay of West Midlands Police said the most important duties would still be carried out by sworn officers.

“Some elements of patrolling it may be appropriate, but the majority of patrolling, the majority of responding to calls for service, particularly 999 calls, will continue to be done by police officers,'” he said.

The Guardian reported it had seen a briefing note sent to companies on the West Midlands-Surrey plans, which said that all services that “can be legally delegated to the private sector” were potentially up for contract.

‘Dangerous experiment’

A West Midlands police authority spokesman told the newspaper the aim was to transform the way the force worked.

The areas of service listed in this notice are deliberately broad to allow the force to explore the skills, expertise and solutions a partnership could bring,” he said.

But Ben Priestley, Unison’s national officer for police and justice, told the Guardian: “Bringing the private sector into policing is a dangerous experiment with local safety and taxpayers’ money.

We are urging police authorities not to fall into the trap of thinking the private sector is the answer to the coalition’s cuts.”

He added: “Privatisation means that the police will be less accountable to the public. And people will no longer be able to go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission if they have a problem.







    VIDEO FLV (16 megabytes):
    Right Click, Save As…

    AUDIO MP3 (05 megabytes):
    Right Click, Save As…

    also at


    • Another example of a low intelligence populace paying a fortune in Council Tax to fund non-existent Police and the internal destruction of England by High Treason aiding the European Union. Then like fools paying again as much as $304 a year for in your face corporate Stasi. Another example of low intelligence goons walking around as if they are some kind of authority by wearing fancy dress. These goons have such a low level of intelligence that they can never be taught the law of the land, let alone the devious Admiralty fiddle usurping of our Common Law. If they think I would ever pay useful idiots like these then they would have another thing coming, it’s not going to happen. If the Police are not doing their jobs for the people then its time their over inflated costs on Council Tax were removed and Pensions cut dramatically.

      “That if you want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut.”FBI special agent William Hinshaw

      May I remind you that Wackenhut is where you get G4S originating from. Wackenhut today is the other devious The Worshipful Company of Security Professional puppet known as The Geo Group. G4S and SERCO are controlling the providers aka slave masters behind the workfare slavery by Unum and the Nazi Department for Work and Pensions.

      -= The Unhived Mind

    Private firms to run police departments

    Saturday 1st October 2011, 11:30AM BST.
    Chris Sims

    Private firms will be invited to make financial bids to take over the running of departments within West Midlands Police, under new plans revealed by the force.

    The West Midlands Police Authority has agreed to enter the first stage of a programme of work that could see private sector companies take over some back office functions in the future.

    The move is part of plans to radically change and overhaul departments in the wake of making £126 million in savings over the next four years.

    But Chief Constable Chris Sims has denied that the process was about outsourcing work in a way that other forces, such as Cleveland Police, had done. The North East force is to outsource its 999 call room in a bid to save £50m over 10 years.

    “One of the challenges for us and the authority is about how we carry on improving policing during a time when there’s virtually flat budgeting once the cuts have been made,” said Mr Sims.

    “Part of our thinking is you do that being radical and being prepared to transform.

    “By inviting the private sector in, we would capitalise on their expertise and move more quickly.”

    The force will cut 173 police officer and 217 staff positions, some through compulsory redundancy, in a drive to save a total of £25m over the next year.

    Forensics, firearms and child abuse units will have their budgets reduced, while eight police dogs, their handlers and 65 traffic officers are also expected to be included in cuts.

    But Mr Sims said inviting private firms in was not about saving money, but about ensuring the force moves forward in the coming years.

    “If we are to move forward and improve policing and the services we provide, especially during a period of nil growth, we must seek large scale and fundamental transformational change, especially into how we carry out so-called middle and back office functions,” said Mr Sims. “This will require us making innovative and radical alterations to the way in which we carry out business and include changes to our technological infrastructure, our operational processes and our culture.

    “Entering into a partnership with a skilled and experienced external organisation may benefit in a number of ways including allowing us to reduce costs and gain advantages from the scale, technology and capital they could bring.”

    Mr Sims said if a full procurement process goes ahead, it is likely to take between 12 and 18 months, when a decision will be made about whether to enter into any formal agreement with an external partner.



Leave a Reply