Civilians ‘will not’ police our streets

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COUNTY police chiefs say they will not follow the example of other forces who plan to allow civilians to investigate crimes and patrol the streets.

The West Midlands and Surrey forces have put out a massive contract for tender, reportedly “on behalf of all England and Wales police forces”, which will see wide-ranging police duties handed to the private sector.

The contract is said to be worth up to £3.5billion over seven years, depending on how many forces sign up, and includes traditional police duties such as investigating crimes and pounding the beat.

Lincolnshire Police Authority made history last month by signing a £200million contract with the world’s largest security group, G4S, for it to run a raft of services including IT, town inquiry offices, firearms licensing and custody suites.

But Lincolnshire Police Authority spokesman Alan Hardwick said Lincolnshire is unlikely to go for the deal pioneered by West Midlands and Surrey.

He said: “As far as we are concerned, the outsourcing that we have achieved is sufficient for Lincolnshire. We would not want to go any further with it.

“What they are doing, and we are definitely not doing, is moving towards civilians doing jobs which have traditionally been done by warranted police officers.”

Lincolnshire Police Authority’s contract with G4S will see 544 of the force’s 900 civilian staff transferring to the company. G4S will also build a two-storey office and 30 cell custody suite, most likely at the county police headquarters in Nettleham, as part of the ten-year deal.