Police chiefs meet to discuss G4S ‘situation’

PROPOSALS to outsource parts of Bedfordshire Police to private firm G4S could be in jeopardy following the company’s embarrassment over their Olympics security debacle.

Last month, it was agreed that plans for G4S to take over a number of Bedfordshire Police ‘back office’ functions should proceed to the next stage, the development of a ‘business case’.

But following the failure of G4S to fulfil its Olympics security contract, Bedfordshire’s Chief Constable, Alf Hitchcock, has met with the heads of the two forces Beds is collaborating with to discuss the situation.

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A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: “The chief constables of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces have met and discussed at considerable length the current situation regarding the work to develop a full business case for the outsourcing of organisational support services through the Lincolnshire Police contract with G4S.

“Their meeting enabled them to consider the findings of the review of the contract to date and assess how it could meet the complex requirements of the three forces.

“The chief constables are continuing this discussion and will share their assessment with police authority members at a meeting of the Strategic Alliance Joint Working Group early next week.

“Any changes to the current programme would have formally to be considered in public by each police authority.

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“Until the police authorities have decided how they want to proceed it is not appropriate to comment further.”

The forces want to outsource ‘support’ services, which include IT, HR and finance and a number of other civilian departments, in order to cut costs.

Beds Police Authority members said in June that the option should proceed to the development of a business case, but said they also wanted the Beds Police to develop a second, alternative option.

The proposals would mean the loss of 248 members of staff from Bedfordshire Police, which currently spends £18 million a year on support services.