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Pro-Privatisation PCC Candidates Face ‘Blacklisting’

Unison conference approves moves to directly challenge candidates if they appear to support controversial issue

Angry trade union members have vowed to make police privatisation a “toxic issue” for police and crime commissioner candidates who support the move.

Unison members approved a series of motions on October 11 to step up their “Stop Police Privatisation” campaign - including a bid to directly challenge candidates standing in force areas who agree with the government’s stance on the issue.

At its Police and Justice Conference in Cardiff, police staff - who are currently the only personnel directly affected by private contracts in the Police Service - said they would also work with Labour Party candidates to ensure they kept privatisation off the agenda.

As previously reported, Surrey Police pulled out of its joint search with West Midlands Police for a private partner after realising that the PCC candidates standing in its area were campaigning on an anti-privatisation agenda.

The project therefore stood little chance of being approved.

Police Lead for Unison, Ben Priestley, told PoliceOracle.com that regional branches would be looking to have a debate with pro-privatisation candidates - and publish information in their areas as appropriate if it was clear that they supported the outsourcing of police staff jobs to the private sector.

Justice Branch Secretary Debi Potter told the conference: “If ACPO is worried about PCCs, how worried should they be about private companies running their forces?

“I call upon chief constables and ACPO to speak out before it is too late.

“We need to elect PCCs who support our “Stop Police Privatisation” campaign. It will be our members and our communities who have to pick up the pieces if we do not succeed.”

Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green told the conference, however, that such a move would restrict PCCs early on in the job - and they needed options to be able to save their forces money.

He said: “We mustn’t tie the hands of the elected police and crime commissioners before they have begun.

“They need to have access to all sectors if it helps them to sustain the policing that communities will expect of them.”

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