We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Federation: New Uniform ‘Blurs Accountability’

Police Federation lashes out at new staff uniform used by Lincolnshire Police in private partnership with G4S

A uniform which combines the name of a police force with a private company logo is being worn by police staff for what is believed to be the first time.

Lincolnshire Police said around 200 of its former staff, which have officially been transferred over to private security company G4S, are wearing the uniforms as part of the force’s new private-partnership.

They are worn by custodians in custody suites, staff at police station front desks and in the force’s fourth control room.

¬I firmly believe that the community is more interested in cops out on the beat rather than a small additional logo on the epaulettes of enquiry office staff.¬

The Police Federation of England and Wales said the move would “confuse” the public and signalled “the lowering of the flag in police communities”.

The move is also likely to raise concerns over more private visibility in the Police Service nationwide as more service contracts go out to tender. It comes as Surrey and West Midlands Police continue their deliberation and search for a joint private partnership, worth an estimated £1.5 billion.

Further questions remain over whether the uniform will inevitably lead to G4S staff performing patrols in the public sphere – instead of police officers or PCSOs. As previously reported on this website, private companies would only require the approval of a chief constable to patrol the streets – whether they have the power to detain or not.

CC Neil Rhodes of Lincolnshire Police said: “Staff in our enquiry offices and control room wear uniform.

“We've added the G4s logo to that uniform to identify them as partnership staff.

“They are still very much part of the Lincolnshire Police Family and it's important that the public are able to see them as such when they call in our enquiry offices.

“The savings we have made through working in partnership have reduced the impact of budget reductions on front-line police officers.

“I firmly believe that the community is more interested in cops out on the beat rather than a small additional logo on the epaulettes of enquiry office staff.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police added that only between 30 and 40 of the newly uniformed staff were public-facing.

However, Chairman of the Police Federation Paul McKeever told PoliceOracle.com that the new uniform was part of a “fundamental change” happening to the Police Service where staff were becoming less accountable to the public.

He said: “On its own it is not looked on as a big thing but when you see it as what is going on in the Police Service it should be a real concern for the public.

“The British Police model has worked well for the best part of 200 years and the communities understand the police are independent, accountable and act with impartiality and discretion.

“The shift towards privatisation by government is something we are very concerned about and this is another example of the boundaries being pushed.”

Mr McKeever added: “People know what a fully warranted officer can do and when you find someone who doesn’t possess those powers but appears to, that will cause confusion.”

A G4S spokesperson said that previously the staff would have been wearing the force’s own uniform – but this helped recognise the difference.

Leave a Comment
View Comments 15
In Other News
Police Uniforms: Concern Mounts Over Confusion
G4S Announce Police Redundancies
Home Sec: ‘No New Powers For PCSOs’
Police Privatisation: Watchdog Calls For Scrutiny Powers
Custody Initiative ‘Saves 350 Frontline Hours’
Comment: How Privatisation Proposals Work
Exclusive: Private Patrols In The Public Space
No Arrests Says Private Firm
Private Partnerships Save Millions
Lincs Model: How Privatisation Talks Took Place
Privatised Policing: The Forces Explain
More News