The control room of Northamptonshire Police could be outsourced to G4S under plans being considered by the force, it has been revealed.
Staff were notified yesterday that G4S, the private security contractor had been asked to carry out a ‘feasibility study’ into how it could deliver call handing, despatch and contact management for Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Police forces.
The announcement came ahead of the Government’s comprehensive spending review announcement on November 25, which is likely to result in all police forces making savings of at least five per cent.
Lyndsay Smith, Unison Northants Police Branch Secretary said the union was opposed to the outsourcing of such an essential part of policing and members were fearful that such a move would seriously affect the service provided to the public of Northamptonshire.
She said: “We believe that outsourcing is unnecessary and we will work with the other Unison branches in the Strategic Alliance to defend our police staff members. We are willing to work with Northamptonshire Police to ensure we get the best possible outcome for our members.”
Northamptonshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Andy Frost said no firm decisions had been made about the future of the control room.
He said: “As part of the principle of a three-force Strategic Alliance, G4S has been asked to carry out a feasibility study into Contact Management.
“The approach has been made to allow the three forces to gain information about what G4S might be able to offer in terms of service delivery, in areas such as call handling, despatch and contact management, without the need for any commitment or impact on current structures.
“I want to reiterate that this is only research at the moment, under the principle of a Strategic Alliance, to allow informed decisions about opportunities that other agencies could offer. No commitment has been made to accept their suggestions, and we have not signed up to use their service.
“We will be reviewing all areas of the business, as part of developing what a Strategic Alliance looks like, and our service to the public will be at the heart of what we do.”