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Chief Speaks Out Over Private Partnerships

Senior officer says he cares too much to let his staff swap over to private companies

Private partnerships in the Police Service are unproven and set a dangerous precedent for the future of law enforcement, a chief constable has warned.

Derbyshire CC Mick Creedon says he is worried about the “drift” of police privatisation which could lead to private patrols in the public space.

In the most damning rejection so far of the police-privatisation ideology, CC Creedon said he cared “passionately” about all his staff and wanted them to work for Derbyshire Constabulary – not private companies.

He also said there was no evidence to suggest that privatising functions was “cheaper or better” – and the private sector itself was not entirely convinced.

Derbyshire Constabulary is currently the only force in the country not to have supported the West Midlands and Surrey Police private partnership proposals.

This means it will not be possible for the force to enter the £1.5 billion deal at a later stage should it be satisfied that the contract would be beneficial.

CC Creedon said: “When people call Derbyshire Constabulary I want the calls to be taken by Derbyshire Constabulary – not a company like G4S.”

He added that he was not opposed to private sector involvement in the Police Service – as Derbyshire Constabulary outsourced “one or two very small functions”.

But the chief officer challenged the notion of supplying front, back and middle office staff through private partnerships on a much larger scale.

CC Creedon said: “My people are doing finance, IT support and other things and they are all about ‘Team Derbyshire’. They have told me time and time again that they want to be a part of that single organisation.”

He added: “I have also spoken to some people in the private sector executives and their view was very clear – go careful with outsourcing.

“You are better off going for an internal process like sharing a business centre or bringing things like finance and administration into one single unit.”

CC Creedon said he had further concern about the passing over of police staff to private companies as part of partnerships – which is what happened in Lincolnshire.

He said this could affect their terms and conditions and could result in less secure jobs once their guaranteed protection period had run out.

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