BREAKING NEWS: County police authority to enter into £200m cost-cutting contract with private firm

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POLICING across Lincolnshire will be “transformed” according to the county’s police authority, which today agreed to outsource a huge section of its support services to a private firm.

The move, which has been described by the authority as “a benchmark for service delivery nationwide”, comes in response to a 20 per cent budget cut imposed by the Government, to be achieved by 2014/15.

In Lincolnshire this cut translates to £20.8m in four years and the new contract, which has a total value in excess of £200m, has been awarded to G4S.

The partnership will help the force deliver essential cost savings, while underpinning local policing and enabling investment in new technology.

It will deliver the following services to support front line policing:

• Police operational services

• Custody (excludes custody sergeant role)

• Force control room (excludes inspector role)

• Crime management bureau

• Central ticket office and collisions unit

• Criminal justice unit

• Firearms licensing (excluding manager and initially licensing officers)

• Resource management unit

The deal will offer business support in terms of

• ICT

• HR services (excluding occupational health unit)

• HR learning and development

• Assets and facilities management (including fleet management)

• Finance and procurement

• Support services

In a joint statement Lincolnshire Police Authority chairman Barry Young and Chief Constable Richard Crompton said the authority was determined to provide a sustainable solution for policing Lincolnshire.

They said: “We are confident our decisions will not only ensure the best possible outcomes for the communities we serve, but also that they have put us firmly in the vanguard for change in the way British policing is delivered.

“Throughout this period of change – probably the most significant in the history of Lincolnshire Police – our priorities have always been, and will continue to be, protecting the people of Lincolnshire, providing the best services possible and the best value for money.

“The aim has been to create a model that will transform policing and its delivery – allowing the organisation space to begin to bridge the financial gap whilst maintaining, modernising and improving services.

“This new approach will make significant savings, while providing investment in key areas like IT infrastructure. The subsequent streamlining of processes will free up officer time to concentrate on operational policing.

“The partnership deal has the widest scope of any for policing in the country and is now open to other Authorities. The Lincolnshire model is the new benchmark; underpinning the future of local policing and investing in new technologies and services.

“This new approach will mean that the leanest police force in Britain, which already provides its services at the lowest cost per head of population, will be able to meet the challenges laid down by the government whilst also meeting the high standards rightly expected by the people of Lincolnshire.

“This is not a total solution and the Authority still faces significant financial challenges, but it does provide a solid foundation to secure quality and value for money policing of our communities in the future.”