A security firm boss has vowed to offer more support to bobbies on the beat and has hit back at suggestions his company will replace police officers.
Bedfordshire Police – and the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces – have agreed to explore outsourcing, including finance, ICT services and HR, to private firm G4S as they look to save £73 million.
G4S was awarded a ten-year £200m contract earlier this year with Lincolnshire Police to support their services. After the deal another ten forces signed up.
Last month Bedfordshire’s Unison police staff branch raised fears officers’ jobs will be cut to make savings and questioned the accountability of a profit-making service being funded by taxpayers. John Shaw (above), managing director of G4S Policing Support Services said: “We are delighted that Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire are considering using the Lincolnshire contract to improve efficiency and save money, and G4S looks forward to supporting the police authorities as they work through their proposals. G4S has no interest in providing front-line policing – we’re here to support police officers not replace them.
“Our expertise comes in providing administration and support services more effectively and at a lower cost.
“By spending less on these functions, police forces can choose to concentrate their spending on frontline services and protecting police officers’ jobs.
“This has already proved the case at Lincolnshire and we hope and expect that the savings we can help generate for the three forces will enable them to put more police back on the streets.” All three forces are believed to have begun a consultation with staff. If approved the outsourced arrangements could be in place by April 2013 affecting more than 1,100 employees across the forces.