Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire PCCs to look again at outsourcing

Outsourcing police services in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire will be discussed again, police commissioners (PCCs) have said.

Plans to transfer support roles to G4S to save about £73m collapsed on Tuesday following a "business decision".

Sir Graham Bright, Cambridgeshire PCC, said they were "starting immediately" to look at alternatives.

Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd still favours outsourcing. Bedfordshire's Ollie Martins called for "pragmatism".

The three forces were looking at contracting G4S to provide joint IT and human resources services.

The plan was put forward in a bid to help plug a £73m funding gap and could have affected 1,100 staff.

G4S said the deal would have saved the three forces more than £100m over about 10 years.

The three commissioners decided the G4S contract was not suitable for the needs of the three forces.

'Look again'

Conservative, Sir Graham, said they needed to "look again" at the situation because they had to save money.

"None of us are against outsourcing or sharing with each other, or indeed other counties, but it's got to be done piece by piece," he said.

"This was a huge umbrella contract that covered everything and I was never sure you should do that with one company."

David Lloyd, also a conservative commissioner, insisted that outsourcing remains his preferred option.

"This was about whether or not this particular deal worked in these particular circumstances," he said.

"This hasn't ruled out using the private sector in the future and hasn't, as far as Hertfordshire's concerned, ruled out using G4S for any services in the future."

Bedfordshire's Labour PCC Ollie Martins said there would now be some "interesting discussions".

"Philosophically I prefer public services that are delivered by public servants," he said.

"The Conservative philosophy of the other two PCCs is probably a bit different from that so we are going to have to have some discussions and we are probably all going to have to be a little bit pragmatic."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites