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England planning to privatise Police forces

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 



Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country. West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police.


The contract is the largest on police privatisation so far, with a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, rising to a possible £3.5bn depending on how many other forces get involved. This scale dwarfs the recent £200m contract between Lincolnshire police and G4S, under which half the force's civilian staff are to join the private security company, which will also build and run a police station for the first time.


The home secretary, Theresa May, who has imposed a 20% cut in Whitehall grants on forces, has said frontline policing can be protected by using the private sector to transform services provided to the public, but this is the first clear indication of what that will mean in practice. May said on Thursday that she hoped the "business partnership" programme would be in place next spring.


A 26-page "commercial in confidence" contract note seen by the Guardian has been sent to potential bidders to run all services that "can be legally delegated to the private sector". They do not include those that involve the power of arrest and the other duties of a sworn constable. Companies who have applied through the Bluelight emergency services e-tendering website have been invited to a "bidders' conference" on 14 March, with an anticipated contract start date of next February.


The breathtaking list of policing activities up for grabs includes: 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. 


Ben Priestley, Unison's national office for police and justice, which covers many police civilian staff, said:

"Bringing the private sector into policing is a dangerous experiment with local safety and taxpayers' money, privatisation means that the police will be less accountable to the public. And people will no longer be able to go to the Independent Police Complaints Commission if they have a problem. When a critical incident happens, a force's ability to respond will be severely compromised. The only winners are private companies and shareholders who make profits at the expense of local services."


The West Midlands police are already planning to cut 2,764 police jobs over the next three years and this privatisation programme is not designed to meet the immediate budget gaps. The savings are expected to show after 2014.


Well, fuck.


I don't what else to say, it's pretty evident how fucking terrible this is. The current conservative government seems bent on destroying everything in the country and pushing out policies that would make Thatcher wince.


The paranoid conspiracy theorist in me feels like this is a reaction to the corruption in the police at the hands of News International and Murdoch, which is now being investigated and prosecuted. What better way for him to get around any new laws and rules which stop police being paid for information and invited to swank parties, by removing them from the public sector. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the trouble with police pensions that's been going on at the moment as well. 


I'm also willing to be this has been put out there to stir up trouble and distract from the imminent health bill which will lead to the eventual privatisation of the NHS. I'm sure it'll come down to them scrapping this one, but only if we take the other. The Labour government started something like this a while back, selling off administration tasks for regional police and fire service training, however, this seems a touch different...



Edited by SeanCE - 3/3/12 at 4:43am
post #2 of 17

Holy fuck. OCP was the first thing I thought of too. Nice to see the Tories still privatizing everything in sight, after it worked so fucking well back in the 80s/early 90s. I'd say I'm glad I don't live in the U.K. anymore, but I'm sure before too long once the Liberals wheedle themselves back into power (Note to the Americans - over here, 'The Liberal Party' are conservative. Also, the toilet flushes the other way round too) and do their usual thing and copy it.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Whats amazing is right now, you'd think something like this would be at the top of the news and everyone in the opposition would be climbing over each other to scream this down. But no. Nothing. 

post #4 of 17

It just sounds like part of that steady process we've been seeing in democratic systems, where the parties have become increasingly like each other. Then again, I am cynical on a heroic level.

post #5 of 17

It's nice to see Republicans have competition for retardation. 

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Some more coverage:

Surrey Chief Constable Lynne Owens said: "Any suggestion that a private sector company will patrol the streets of Surrey is simply nonsense. It would be no more acceptable to the public than it would be to me. This is just an opportunity to see if the private sector can deliver some behind-the-scenes functions better and cheaper as part of a broader programme." She added: "We will not change for changes sake. Our service to the Surrey public is my priority. I will retain all accountability for operational decision making."


Not so sure that the potential £3.5b profit agrees with that at all, not to mention the list of things up for grabs. I imagine they'll be running up a huge amount of spin and damage control to make this look good. Even if something terrible doesn't happen in the next 2 years (which I highly doubt) it's opened the gates for it now. 

post #7 of 17

Yep,  time to leave the country.

post #8 of 17

Jesus Christ - how is this not bigger news?

post #9 of 17

Robocop just becomes more brilliant as time goes on.

post #10 of 17

The new face of Scotland Yard:




Edited by Art Decade - 3/3/12 at 3:28pm
post #11 of 17

Anyone else think that Cameron is one step away from making a private army as well so he can stay in power forever?

post #12 of 17


Yesterday, I would've laughed at this.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the privatisation proposals would jeopardise the chance of successful investigations and convictions and lead to the "destruction of the finest police service in the world".  


Oh, and so far, this is the best the opposition has been able to muster. Where the fuck is Milliband? Twat.


Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper expressed concern that the programme was being pursued for financial reasons rather than to improve performance.
She said: "The possibility of including the management of high-risk individuals, patrolling public places or pursuing criminal investigations in large private-sector contracts rather than core professional policing raises very serious concerns. It is fundamental to British policing that it has the trust of the people. That means policing decisions are impartial, in the interests of justice, stopping crime and catching criminals."  


And in other police related news and how, being even further associated from public service, could go terribly wrong...

The police or security services supplied information to a blacklist funded by the country's major construction firms that has kept thousands of people out of work over the past three decades. The Information Commissioner's Office has revealed that records that could only have come from the police or MI5 have been discovered in a vast database of files held on 3,200 victims who were deemed leftwing or troublesome. The files were collected by the Consulting Association, a clandestine organisation funded by major names in the construction industry.


post #14 of 17

Well all those "News of the World" folks now have a second career in front of them!

post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post

The new face of Scotland Yard:




If only I had Photoshop skills, I'd swap out those guns for truncheons.

post #16 of 17

So... does this terrify any other non-Englanders? I am all for some industriest being not managed by the government, like some social work, case work, but I think public security is government only function. Gives me the willies.

post #17 of 17

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