Union also challenges PCC candidates to come clean on outsourcing
As part of its ongoing campaign to keep policing public, UNISON is writing to all candidates across England and Wales to get their views on privatisation and outsourcing, police cuts and their support for PCSOs on record. How candidates respond to these questions will influence how members, their families and the wider public will vote on November 15th.
The union is warning the candidates that privatisation of vital police services is deeply unpopular with the public. A recent UNISON survey revealed that more than 60% of the public do not want their local police services to be sold off to private companies.
UNISON national officer Ben Priestley said: “We know police privatisation is going to be a toxic issue for candidates in the PCC elections, but we will not allow the candidates to hide their views on these important issues to win votes.
“Candidates must come clean on their intentions for the privatisation and outsourcing of policing staff, how they will manage the government’s proposed 20% cuts to budgets, and whether they will continue to fund PCSOs. Without this, the public will not be able to make an informed decision in November’s elections.
“These elections will have particular importance in those forces that are considering selling off their police services to the private sector, and the public in these areas must know what they are really voting for.”
Police staff currently make up 40% of the policing workforce, working in forensics, scenes of crime, as PCSOs and in 999 call handling. They are at particular risk of outsourcing to private companies. The union has already expressed concern that the creep of privatisation will lead to fragmentation, a race-to-the-bottom in terms of service quality as well as undermining public trust and confidence in the police.
* You can view the questions here.
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