Calls to curb G4S contracts
Police representatives in Leicestershire have called on the Government to block embattled Olympic security firm G4S from any further major contracts.
The firm has been in the firing line all week since it emerged thousands of military personnel were being brought in to work on the Games' security effort because G4S had failed to recruit and train enough guards.
Leicestershire Police Federation and Unison yesterday echoed Labour leader Ed Miliband in calling on the Government to halt plans to hand any further contracts – including police work – to G4S.
Sections of "back office" civilian posts at Lincolnshire Police were transferred to G4S earlier this year in a 10-year, £200 million deal.
Leicestershire Police and another 40 forces signed an agreement which meant they would also choose G4S – whose chief executive Nick Buckles this week gave evidence on Olympic security staffing to the Home Affairs Select Committee – if they decided to go down the same route.
The county's force is not, at present, planning to privatise any of its civilian services.
Leicestershire Police Federation chairman Ivan Stafford said the federation had repeatedly warned policing services were "far too important for it to be put into the hands of private, profit-driven companies".
He said: "We would join the Labour leader in calling for the Government to rethink its plans to outsource more police services.
"We want ministers to put a stop to G4S – or any other private companies – being given any more contracts until a full investigation of the Olympics security fiasco has been carried out."
Chris Hanrahan, secretary of Unison's police branch, which represents civilian staff, said: "Chief constables have not given good account as to the rationale for outsourcing."
Leicestershire Police finance director Paul Dawkins said the force had not been placed under any obligation to bring G4S in.
However, he said signing up to the Lincolnshire Police deal meant his force would save money and time on the tendering process should the force decide to privatise some of its services.
A Home Office spokesman said: "The police will remain a public service, accountable to the people, and any decisions on further business partnering will be taken by elected police and crime commissioners, giving local people a say."
G4S said yesterday it was "making good progress" on the number of security staff for the Olympics.
A spokesman said: "We are working very closely with (Olympic organising committee) LOCOG, the military, police and Government and we expect to continue to build on the progress we have made in the past few days."