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Privatised Policing: Three Forces Could Be Next

Three police forces in the east of England are to look into outsourcing their organisational support

Three police forces are to consider a plan to jointly outsource their organisational support to the private sector– potentially piggybacking Lincolnshire Police’s private framework with security giant, G4S.

Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary will look into the proposal this month which would potentially affect up to 1,100 police staff – in a bid to bridge a £73 million shortfall in funding.

¬However the sooner we can get a deal with all due diligence taken into consideration, we can then start to make the savings.¬

Their police authorities will separately consider whether they want to commission a Full Business Case document, which would closely examine which services would be best delivered by outsourcing. If all authorities agree, the document would be produced before going back to the authorities for a final decision in the autumn.

However PoliceOracle.com has learnt that there is a doubt as to who would have the final say– as Police and Crime Commissioners take over from the authorities in November. If the document was to be given the go ahead this month, it may not be ready for final scrutiny before the elections take place – in which case the PCCs would be asked to decide.

A spokesperson for the collaboration programme said: “The Full Business Case is not fixed and needs to take its time.

“There is no intention to push it through before PCCs come in.

“However the sooner we can get a deal with all due diligence taken into consideration, we can then start to make the savings.”

Nine areas of organisational support have been proposed for outsourcing so far, and these would be examined in the document.

They are HR, ICT, Finance, Estates and Facilities, Corporate Services, Corporate Communications, Fleet, Procurement and Legal Services.

The areas currently cost the forces a total of £77 million a year, but PoliceOracle.com has been told that not all of them may be appropriate for outsourcing – in which case other avenues could be pursued.

The three forces, which have had their own major collaboration programme between them since 2010, would effectively piggyback the framework already in place as a result of Lincolnshire Police’s partnership with G4S. This is because they chose to support the proposal when it was initiated and therefore have the option of doing so.

The spokesperson added: “There are so many different ways this could end up.

“The chief constables have taken the initial decision in consultation with their police authorities. They have done this so colleagues in the authorities have the longest opportunity to understand and be engaged in the process.”

The forces merged their Scientific Services, Major Crime Unit and Armed Policing Unit together in April. They hope to save £2 million a year by doing this.

Hertfordshire Police Authority will make its decision over the commissioning of the document on June 25 while Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Police Authorities will make theirs at separate meetings on June 28.

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