The Guardian has reported that West Midlands and Surrey Police forces have invited bids from G4S and other private security companies to take over jobs currently performed by police officers. The move comes as police forces across England and Wales face budget cuts of 20%.
The roles being considered for outsourcing include “investigating crimes, detaining suspects, developing cases, responding to and investigating incidents, supporting victims and witnesses, managing high-risk individuals, patrolling neighbourhoods, managing intelligence, managing engagement with the public, as well as more traditional back-office functions, such as managing forensics, providing legal services, managing the vehicle fleet, finance and human resources.” – guardian.co.uk
A West Midlands police authority spokesman told the Guardian: “Combining with the business sector is aimed at totally transforming the way the force currently does business – improving the service provided to the public.”
Ben Priestley of Unison, the union that represents many civilian staff in the Police, said “privatisation means that the police will be less accountable to the public” and asserted “the only winners are private companies and shareholders who make profits at the expense of local services.”
The Telegraph is reporting that the move has the backing from the Home Office, although no statement has been made at the time of writing.