Hot on the heels of my recent post regarding Lincolnshire Police selling off the family silver comes news of a much, much bigger project to sell off half the contents of the whole house and the west wing.
West Midlands & Surrey Police are currently tendering out, on behalf of the rest of us, to private companies to take over a huge chunk of traditional policing activities.
The government wants private business to just about run everything that doesn’t require the powers of a uniformed bobby. Tenders are requested from G4S (The Old Group 4 Security) and others to take over and run such things as “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.”
The contract is expected to cost between Â£1.5 billion and Â£3.5 billion, depending on how many forces come on board.
This might be a fantastic idea which will mean decent profits for private business, a much better service to the public and a police service free to concentrate on saving lives and the prevention and detection of crime.
Or it might not.