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Three Forces Shun G4S Plans

Proposals for three forces to outsource organisational support services to G4S have been thrown out with further collaboration on horizon

Future inter-force collaboration is on the cards after three police and crime commissioners threw out proposals to privatise their organisational support services.

Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire police forces have been considering a business case proposal by G4S since June 2012 when it was sanctioned by all three police authorities.

The plans would have privatised their HR, IT, finance, estates and facilities, fleet, procurement and resource management and were targeted to achieve £20million of savings a year for each force.

During a meeting between the PCCs of the three forces and their chief constables, it was decided further work exploring the proposal, which considered Lincolnshire Police’s model with G4S as its supplier, would stop.

The commissioners, who work within a tri-force strategic alliance, will now examine other options available for organisational support services, including in-house options or further collaboration between the forces. The three forces already collaborate extensively in areas including firearms, counter terrorism and support functions.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd told PoliceOracle.com the three PCCs would be looking at further options as a strategic alliance and that nothing would be ruled out.

He added that different market providers would be a significant consideration, with the alliance looking carefully at all the services they offer and testing them against each other.

This follows Mr Lloyd maintaining his belief that “substantial elements” of policing support services will be best delivered by the private sector.

He said: “I am already in discussion with other market providers and will continue to talk with G4S about how they can assist policing support services in Hertfordshire. My clear position is that all elements of support work will be considered for outsourcing or other use of the market.”

Cambridgeshire PCC Sir Graham Bright said while he was not against outsourcing completely, he felt working with forces jointly was the way forward.

Bedfordshire PCC Olly Martins, who has previously made clear his intention not to consider the initiative, mooted the possibility of further collaboration.

He said: “Strengthening the ways in which we collaborate with Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire is a crucial element of our ongoing investment in all our police services. I now look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to develop new and innovative ways in which we can progress our collaborative approach.”

In the meantime, Bedfordshire Police has already implemented an in-house initiative, Option 10, which was proposed by trade union Unison last October and only endorsed by Bedfordshire’s then police authority.

The force utilises policing expertise in-house using the LEAN methodology of improving working practices and introducing new ones to deliver in-house savings while protecting front line resources.

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