Wednesday, 14 November 2012

38Degrees Police privatisation answers lead to one BIG question. sent me an e-mail which included Thames Valley Police Crime Commissioner candidates answers to their questions about privatisation.

Some were surprising. Perhaps there is nothing to fear. Or they are just the right noises like the 'Green' noises made in the run up to the last general election and the scandal that has come to light since.

How can I be sure they won't simply act a different way?

Please do not think I am rude. I think it is simply prudent.

To the Police Crime Commissioner Candidates

Using 'privatisation' as a generic term for out sourcing, private contracts, contracting etc. Do you all consent to the two paragraphs below.

Before allowing a private contract in which a current (now) chain of command, presence or investigative role is outsourced, you will stand down for a bi-election?

Before acting in a way regarding privatisation that 12 professional independent individuals in majority agree is not in keeping with the impression given in your statements to 38degrees below, you will stand down for a bi-election.

Responses in order of response

Barry Cooper

Sure - but only if it is a function that is primarily a police one. I wont stand down if I outsource something non-police.

Not that I am a fan of that either, as my 38 degree reply reflects.
And not if I am logistically unable to put things in place to replace existing contracts as quickly as I would like.


Answers to 38Degrees questions

Tim Starkey (Labour):
I can confirm that I oppose police privatisation; it is an issue that I feel strongly about as I believe that the police should always be working in the public interest. Policing decisions should be motivated by what is best for the public, not by what maximises private sector profits.

Anthony Stansfeld (Conservatives):
No, I am not a supporter of outsourcing, and I have absolutely no interest in any firm involved in outsourcing,

Barry Cooper (UKIP):
I am unreservedly, unequivocally and completely against the privatisation of any function that could be considered one that should be undertaken by police officers or ancillary specialist staff that should be answerable to the police chain of command (such as forensics). At no time should community safety be subject to shareholder interests or concerns about profit margins.

I will go further than this - the contract for private jailors at the Thames Valley custody suites is up for renewal shortly after the PCC takes office. If time permits me to juggle the logistics, I will not be renewing that contract. I consider jailing a primary police function. If circumstances dictate that I have to renew it, I will do so for as short a period as possible and set resources in place to take over at the very earliest opportunity.

Even with non-police functions, I will only outsource if it provides value for money, and extensive examples throughout the public sector shows that it seldom does. I do not anticipate much, if any, outsourcing even when it comes to this sort of service if it is already undertaken more efficiently and cheaply by people employed by Thames Valley Police.

I do not have, nor have I ever had, any sort of relationship with a company that provides private policing services or would be in a position to tender for any sort of contracts originating from the Thames Valley Police.

Geoff Howard (Independent):
1. The scope for privatising parts of the police services in the Thames Valley should be limited in the extreme and should only be introduced if absolutely necessary when all other avenues have been exhausted.

2. I will oppose greater private involvement, especially when incompetent companies like G4S wish to become involved.

3. I have never been personally involved, and neither have any members of my family or friends, with such potential private providers.

John Howson (LibDems):
I have no connection with any company that might bid of any services or contract with the police or any other agency linked to the PCC role. No front-line services not already under contract will be contracted-out although back office functions may be and collaboration with other forces will be considered where cost-effective. If there is a profit to be made, that profit should normally be used for public services and not for shareholders. The third sector already provides a number of services to victims, witnesses and other areas covered by the PCC role. They are generally 'not for loss' organisations.

Patience Tayo Awe (Independent):
I will not privatise Thames Valley police.

Will not allow G4S to get involved in the running of Thames Valley police.

No connections to companies that might be interested in police contracts.

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