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Monday 3 October, 2011

BSIA welcomes Police plans for increased public sector partnerships

Members of the British Security Industry Association’s Police and Public Services section have welcomed proposals by the West Midlands Police Authority for increased working partnerships with the private sector.

In a radical shake-up of policing practices brought on by significant budget cuts, service providers from the private sector could be called upon to perform everyday supporting roles such as custodial services and administration.

West Midlands Chief Constable, Chris Sims, commented: “The proposal to consider working with the private sector really represents a step change in the way we’re organised and an opportunity to radically change and transform the way we operate.”

Robbie Calder, Chairman of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services section, adds: “At times where police resources are already stretched to the limit, the private security industry can be of great assistance by alleviating the pressure on the police to cut costs while maintaining an excellent level of service to local communities.”

The Midlands region has already seen several examples of successful partnerships between police and the private security industry, such as the emergency response to the severe flooding in Gloucestershire in 2007, where police and emergency services were supported by a BSIA member.

Speaking about the incident at a BSIA event in 2010, Chief Inspector Derek Jones commented: “This was the largest peace time emergency since the Second World War, and the security team that we worked with had a positive and flexible approach. Whatever I asked for, the answer was yes, and they provided a great deal of reassurance. The escalation of confidence soon increased. Because of that positive leadership, I was able to give feedback to the Gold Commander and arrange redeployment and rest days for police staff as well.”

According to a report published by research consultancy Perpetuity, such partnerships could generate savings to the public sector of up to up to £1billion, and the BSIA is looking for increased engagement from police forces across the country in order to deliver effective public services at a time of economic austerity.

To find out more about the BSIA’s Police and Public Services section, visit www.bsia.co.uk/pps

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