Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police drop G4S outsourcing plans

Campaigners against outsourcing getting the message across at a rally in Stevenage last year

Campaigners against outsourcing getting the message across at a rally in Stevenage last year - Credit: Archant

POLICE outsourcing plans set to put more than 1,100 jobs at risk have been dropped after three crime commissioners met for crunch talks.

Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces were considering using security firm G4S to take on backroom roles but the proposal was scrapped by the strategic alliance last week.

However, G4S, which was criticised for its handling of Olympic security after the Army and police had to be called in, could still be used by Hertfordshire Constabulary in the future.

David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner, said: “All this means is that we will not be working with G4S through this contract. 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. I made my decision based on evidence and on the recommendations from the chief constables.

“I still believe substantial elements of policing support services will be best delivered by the private sector and will ensure that this option is immediately pursued.

“We will now move forward looking at organisational support services, as before.”

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If the plans had been approved 1,100 civilian posts would have been lost in a bid to help plug a £73m shortfall in Government funding.

Soon after the plans were revealed, public service union UNISON launched a battle to block the bid.

“This decision will be welcomed by all of the hard-working staff in Hertfordshire Constabulary who have continued to drive high performance over the past year despite the uncertainty over their future employment conditions,” said Steph Raddings, secretary of the Herts police UNISON branch.

“As a branch we have consistently argued that the best solution for the constabulary, our members and the public of Hertfordshire is not outsourcing to a profit-making organisation with little knowledge of service delivery in policing.”