Labour Research June 2012


Police privatisation plan delayed

Surrey and West Midlands police forces have announced that they are delaying plans to push through contracts worth £1.5 billion until after the Olympics, when they will hold a public consultation.

Public services union UNISON has warned that the proposals are a dangerous experiment with public safety, taxpayers’ funds and local accountability.

It is also questioning the business case set out by the Home Office, and has had three requests for it to be published refused.

Ben Priestley, UNISON national officer for police staff, said this only reinforces the union’s belief that there is no business case behind the plans, and added: “A pause changes nothing — these plans should be put on ice entirely.”

A poll by general union Unite revealed that over 60% of respondents would be less likely to report a crime if they knew a private company were to be in charge of their personal data.

The survey also showed that nearly 80% of people did not realise their police services were up for sale, confirming fears that the plans were being rushed through.

Peter Allenson, Unite national officer, said: “West Midlands and Surrey police forces have realised that the public do not want privatisation but they have not dropped the plans altogether.”

He said that they were simply buying themselves breathing space, “but no length of time will convince people that profit and policing are a good fit”.