Hello again loyal readers, I must absolutely begin with an unreserved apology for a second blog on the subject of privatisation in such a short space of time. Something is still bothering me, and I don’t think it’s because I’m being thick.
Our revered new Minister for Policing Mr Damian Green MP has gone on record as saying that Police Services should take more opportunities to hire private firms to carry out the back office functions and release more money to pay for more front line officers. A very admirable sentiment, highly commendable. Except that I don’t see how it works. Private companies, such as G4S have tendered and possibly are still tendering for roles such as Crime Investigators, Forensic and Medical services, Human Resources, IT, Transport. With the obvious and controversial exception of Crime Investigator these are functions that are not carried out by warranted Police Officers in any Force that I know of. So we are not talking about employing G4S (for example) in order to directly free up Police Officers for redeployment on the front line. Presumably what we are talking about is transferring existing Police Staff under TUPE to their new employer (G4S for example) who will then take over responsibility for their pay and pensions etc. Police Staff are not renowned for the high level of their salaries (well not until you get to Director level anyway), so this is the bit I don’t understand.
If your Police Staff salaries are not already market leaders how do G4S (for example) afford to pay them the same or more and make a profit for their shareholders? Presumably some of this is achieved by providing a lower level of service, or cutting back on the range of services provided. TUPE staff do at least have some level of protection temporarily. Police Staff, bless them all, have absolutely no responsibility to anonymous shareholders. They share the same responsibility to the greater public that we all have/had.
So basically, to reiterate, my question is how do G4S (for example) provide the same level of service as in-house, for less money, thus freeing up more money to fund more front line officers? B******d if I can see how it’s done, Smoke and Mirrors?
If any of you know the answer PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know as I desperately want to understand this. I am not weakening, I will never support privatisation, but I do want to understand the mechanism for saving money and how it’s going to work. After all, the Cheshire experience has shown us how G4S (sorry GSL) were unable to make any money from it and the contracts were terminated by MUTUAL agreement.