May 22 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
PLANS to privatise part of Cambridgeshire police have been dropped.
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright met his counterparts from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to discuss the plans to outsource some backroom services of the three counties’ forces to private contractor G4S.
The meeting was called after Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd rejected the privatisation plans that would help plug a £73million funding shortfall in the three forces’ budgets. The plans would have affected more than 1,000 staff.
The three PCCs sat down, with Sir Graham chairing the meeting, and decided to not pursue the option as the Strategic Partnership.
However Sir Graham said that he was “not against outsourcing completely” and would “make any decisions about how services are provided in the future based on what is in the best interests of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough”.
He said: “I have worked with the commissioners and chief constables for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to evaluate the framework delivered by G4S in Lincolnshire. Following a rigorous review we have come to the shared decision not to proceed further.
“I still firmly think that working closely with other forces is the key to making the savings needed in the future.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to meet the financial challenges that face us all.”
Asked about the reasons for the decision, Sir Graham said the issue was “complicated” but that the G4S deal did not fit with the way in which Cambridgeshire and the other constabularies worked.
He admitted that Olly Martins, the PCC for Bedfordshire, had openly campaigned against G4S before his election in November.
However Sir Graham said: “I have to say the decision we took was absolutely unanimous.”
Herts’ police and crime commissioner David Lloyd will continue to look at outsourcing and has not ruled out using G4S.
Andrew White, chief executive for commissioner Lloyd, said: “The strategic alliance of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have discontinued the discussions with G4S however Hertfordshire will consider outsourcing of all services in the future and that includes discussions with G4S.”
G4S was widely criticised after it failed to deliver more than 10,000 security guards for last year’s Olympics.