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No Arrests Says Private Firm

Contractor to Lincolnshire police and a competitor for the West Midlands and Surrey proposals says it has no intentions of performing frontline duties

The private company which will work in partnership with Lincolnshire Police to deliver services says it has no intentions of ever being involved in frontline policing.

Security giant, G4S, which is set to take over middle and back office functions from April 1, said it believed that rival companies, which are also bidding for police services, felt the same.

¬We don’t want to do frontline policing duties. That is not where we want to be.¬

G4S, which is widely acknowledged as the world’s biggest security company, entered the so called “police privatisation” debate by speaking to Police Oracle on March 7.

It says media “scaremongering” over the story has resulted in people being misinformed as private firms have been providing specific services to police forces for years.

Managing Director for Policing Support Services, John Shaw (pictured), added that making arrests and carrying out patrols remained “sacrosanct” and were unlikely to ever be touched by private firms.

He said: “We don’t want to do frontline policing duties. That is not where we want to be.

“Colleagues in other companies are not interested in taking that on anyway.

“Detaining people and arresting people are sacrosanct and I don’t think we are going to get into a debate like that.”

As part of a £200 million contract with Lincolnshire, G4S is set to take over departments including Finance, HR, ICT and Asset and Facilities Management. It will also provide custody suite staff and call centre staff.

However, Mr Shaw said where staff had any input in police investigations it was always under the supervision and control of a police officer.

He said the involvement of G4S staff at Lincolnshire would allow for 97 per cent of its uniformed officers to be used for frontline policing.

“That is a fantastic achievement,” he said.

Mr Shaw emphasized that G4S would be subject to an accountability procedure whereby Lincolnshire kept records over the quality of service delivery.

G4S currently has 20,000 former police officers on its staff database who can be used as experts and consultants on police investigations. Mr Shaw said many of these had 30 years experience or more and were regularly used by forces at short notice where no officers could provide cover.

This has been happening for years he said, but information provided by staff during the course of investigations to police can be used or ignored by the officers actually in charge.

He said a current case in which G4S staff were working involved the Ministry of Defence Police, for example.

He said: “When they (police forces) no longer need them (our staff) we can move them on to the next job- we have been providing people to support investigations for years at points where there are peaks or a series of events which give forces issues with capacity.

“We can provide skills and help for those areas and when finished we go away.”

He added that patrols of private buildings had also been provided by the company in many different ways but the company had never performed patrols in the public space, like police officers and PCSOs currently do.

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