Herts and Beds Police privatisation plan moves forward

A controversial plan to privatise back office operations at Herts and Beds constabularies which would affect over 1,000 jobs took a step closer as approval was given to explore the option.

Herts, Beds and Cambs police authorities gave the go-ahead last week for a business case to be drawn up to collectively outsource 10 support services to administration firm G4S. The move is anticipated to save the forces �73m to help meet government funding cuts.

The proposals have raised serious concerns among members of public service union UNISON. A spokesman for the Herts Police branch said it would impact on frontline police work by reducing efficiency, as well as accountability and pride in the force.

But G4S managing director John Shaw said outsourcing can lead to an increase in the number of community officers – with 28 newly employed thanks to its contract with Lincolnshire Police Authority.

“We’re here to support police officers, not replace them. Our expertise comes in providing administration and support services more effectively and at a lower cost. By spending less on these functions, police forces can choose to concentrate their spending on frontline services and protecting police officers’ jobs,” he said.

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