£200m deal for police services

A LANDMARK costcutting deal to outsource much of Lincolnshire Police’s work to a private firm has been agreed.

Lincolnshire Police Authority has picked G4S as its preferred bidder for a £200 million contract to run back office services as it faces up to a 20 per cent real terms cut in Government cash between now and 2014/15.

Under the deal G4S will take on responsibility for custody, firearms licensing, town enquiry officers, force control room, the central ticket office, IT, human resources, asset management and finance.

The deal has sparked fears that front line policing levels will be affected.

Coun Paul Kenny, leader of the Labour group at Boston Borough Council, said: “My challenge to the police is ‘Can you guarantee that the police service that we receive in Boston is not going to be reduced in any way?’

“If the answer is no I don’t think we should do this.

“It frightens me a little bit and I am concerned about what kind of services we are getting in the future.

“We are as stretched as we want to be, we don’t want to be stretching it any further.”

Coun Kenny says he is skeptical about the savings the deal will actually make.

Coun Paul Przyszlak of the Police Authority said Lincolnshire’s force was already the worst funded in the country before tough Government cuts were announced.

He said: “This doesn’t affect any police officers or Pcsos. To a certain extent does it matter who does the processing?

“You don’t need a police officer to be an accounts clerk. Anything remotely like police work will continue to be done by police officers.”

The deal will also allow the force to upgrade its technology.

Coun Przyszlak added: “It is a case of living in the Dark Ages and still have to slash and burn or outsourcing, getting some new technology and saving some money.”

More than half of the force’s 980 civilian staff are expected to transfer over to G4S.