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G4S outsourcing deal with police forces collapses

A plan by three police forces to outsource services to a private firm has collapsed after Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) rejected it.

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces were looking at contracting G4S to provide joint IT and human resources.

Instead the forces said they would increase their internal collaboration.

G4S said the deal would have saved the three forces more than £100m over about 10 years.
The three PCCs formalised their decision at a meeting earlier, with Hertfordshire’s PCC David Lloyd confirming the three commissioners had “discontinued negotiations” between the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Alliance and G4S.

The forces had considered joining with Lincolnshire, which has a 10-year contract with G4S, as part of outsourcing plans.

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

Olympics embarrassment

Mr Lloyd said: “It is now clear that the G4S framework contract through Lincolnshire Police was not suitable for the unique position of the three forces.

“I am already in discussion with other market providers and will continue to talk with G4S about how they can assist policing support services in Hertfordshire.

“I still believe that substantial elements of policing support services will be best delivered by the private sector and will ensure that this option is immediately pursued.”

Bedfordshire’s PCC Olly Martins tweeted: “We have concluded Lincs/G4S contract is not for us”.

Kim Challis, G4S chief executive, said: “We put forward a compelling proposition to the police forces… which would have guaranteed them savings of over £100m over the next 10 years.

“It was never about replacing police officers. This has already proved to be the case in Lincolnshire, where… in less than a year has seen us deliver savings in running costs of around 16%.

“We continue to work with a number of signatory forces on the Lincolnshire Police contract, including Hertfordshire, to see how we can help them to generate the savings they need”.

BBC East home affairs correspondent Sally Chidzoy said the move towards more internal collaboration would likely safeguard a number of local jobs.

G4S was heavily criticised for its handling of the Olympic Games security contract last summer.

The company admitted last month that the Olympic contract had cost it £50m after it failed to deliver 10,400 security guards in time for the Games.