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Midlands Force Contemplating Privatisation

Chief Constable tells a parliamentary committee he could consider outsourcing if necessary to make further savings

Leicestershire Police could be the next force to consider outsourcing a number of its current services to the private sector.

Chief Constable Simon Cole said he was “interested” in pursuing the matter in future if some services could be provided “better and cheaper” by someone else.

The force has already piggybacked Lincolnshire Police’s private framework with G4S – and the new West Midlands and Surrey Police framework, which is currently in development.

By adding its name to the frameworks, and thereby endorsing them, the force has the option in future to draw up a private contract of its own – either with G4S under the Lincolnshire Police deal or those private companies eventually named on the West Midlands and Surrey Police framework.

It could pursue both for different services if it chooses.
CC Cole told the Home Affairs Select Committee this week: “We currently outsource £8 million worth of a £170 million budget for things like interpreters and care in custody.

“I have got a set of functions, that are not about warranted powers, that I would be interested to know if someone could deliver better and/or cheaper.”

Clarifying his commitment over the issue, Committee Chairman Keith Vaz responded: “So you want to go on the date but you haven’t bought your frock?”

CC Cole said: “I have bought the shoes but not the frock.”

As reported by PoliceOracle.com earlier this month, Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary have become the latest forces to jointly announce they are looking into outsourcing up to nine areas of organisational support, including HR and ICT. They would also look to use the Lincolnshire Police framework with G4S as they piggybacked this themselves.

West Midlands and Surrey Police meanwhile have postponed their tender negotiations with companies until after the Olympics.

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