Headlines: January 31st, 2013

Three police forces have pulled out of a plan to award an outsourcing contract to G4S to provide support services.The contract would have helped to plug a £73m funding gap and could have affected 1,100 staff.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire were set to appoint G4s to operate support services as part of the Lincolnshire Police outsourcing framework. The Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables for the three forces carried out a rigorous review and examined the concerns that had been expressed. They concluded that cost savings could be made in other ways.

This outsourcing plan and others around the country involving police services came under intense pressure following the failure of G4S to deliver their security contract at the Olympic Games. A cabinet minister was quoted as saying that he now recognised the risk of appointing companies like G4S to operate public services who ran very lean operations with no resilience, operated by low paid employees who had no loyalty to the company.

Olly Martins, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, said: “The concerns that I had about this proposal are on record but I am pleased that following the evaluation and subsequent discussions the three Police and Crime Commissioners have ended up in agreement with a shared view that this contract does not deliver what we need.

“However, we do still have to save money. Strengthening the ways in which we collaborate with Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire is a crucial element of our on-going 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.”