G4S police outsource plans 'concern' chief constables

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Plans to outsource police support services to G4S are being further reviewed after the chief constables of three forces expressed concerns about the company's ability to deliver them.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police plan aims to help plug a £73m funding gap.

The forces' Joint Working Group held a meeting "against the backdrop of recent events relating to the Olympics".

It agreed to commission a further exploration of the G4S contract option.

In June, the forces were given the go-ahead to investigate outsourcing "backroom" services including IT, finance, human resources and legal services.

'Address concerns'

Plans were put forward to use private security firm G4S which currently provides support services for Lincolnshire Police.

Earlier this month G4S admitted it would fall short on the number of security guards provided for the Olympics, with 3,500 extra troops now being deployed for security.

Now the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police plan, which could affect 1,100 staff and save each force £20m a year by 2015, is to be reviewed.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police Authority said the chief constables had concerns that the contract may not provide "effective and efficient delivery of organisational support services".

He said if further exploration of the G4S option proved it was not suitable, a "bespoke procurement of a commercial provider to deliver organisational support services" would be recommended to the police authorities.

John Shaw, of G4S Policing Support Services, previously told the BBC: "Our policing support division is entirely separate to our global events business, which has managed the Olympics contract.

"It has its own dedicated resources with more than 1,000 staff. Across this part of our business, we continue to work to the high standards that our customers have come to expect and no contracts have been affected by the Olympics."

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