A tidal wave of protest at the privatisation of police services in England is gathering over what could become ‘a recipe for chaos’ by the end of 2013, warned Unite. Today’s backdrop is the news that nearly 6,800 frontline police jobs have gone since t …

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A tidal wave of protest at the privatisation of police services in England is gathering over what could become ‘a recipe for chaos’ by the end of 2013, warned Unite.

Today’s backdrop is the news that nearly 6,800 frontline police jobs have gone since the 2010 general election and the grilling of the head of G4S, Nick Buckles by MPs over his company’s Olympic Games security fiasco.

There is renewed pressure from Unite on the West Midlands Police Authority – the leading torchbearer of May’s plan to privatise police staff services across England by the end of 2013 – to abort its privatisation plans.

G4S and other private companies have pretensions to take over many police staff services – and Unite believes this will be a recipe for privatised chaos, similar to that seen in the run-up to the Olympics until the armed forces, and ironically, the police stepped in to provide the necessary security blanket.

Every police staff service, from forensics to 999 call handlers, will be up for grabs in this privatised world, except that of the power of arrest.

Speaking at a Unite fringe on police privatisation at the TUC  Congress in Brighton today, Clare Moody, the Labour Party’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, hit out  at the Home Secretary’s “flawed plans to destroy a 160-year-old trusted and valued policing tradition in England.

She added: “Police authorities like the West Midlands need to re-think their plans to privatise services.

“But all police authorities could be infected by this privatisation virus – and the people of Wiltshire, from Salisbury to Swindon, from Chippenham to Devizes, need to be on the alert that their publicly accountable police force could be hi-jacked by the private sector.”

Unite national officer Peter Allenson said: “As the full implications of Theresa May’s plans become apparent – thousands of police staff being made redundant and the likes of the incompetent G4S being in charge of handling 999 calls – there will be a wave of public anger. It could be a recipe for chaos.”

This flagship policy of Theresa May will see thousands of police staff losing their jobs in the 43 police forces in England and that by the end of 2013 the vast majority of English forces could be in private hands – ending a 160-year-old tradition of policing.

The West Midlands Police Authority meets again on Thursday, 27 September, but it has deferred further decisions until after the police commissioner elections in England and Wales in November.


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