New policing minister Damian Green calls for private sector to take a greater role in police work despite G4S shambles

 

The new policing minister today called for the private sector to take a greater role in police work - despite fresh evidence emerging of the extent of the failure by G4S to fulfil its contract to guard the London Olympics.

Damian Green, who was appointed in last week’s Government’s reshuffle, insisted the move would free up police officers to concentrate on the frontline and save money that could be used directly to protecting the public.

He spoke out as forces consider transferring backroom functions to private companies in response to the Government’s spending squeeze, although the G4S debacle has led some to put the move on hold.

Mr Green sought to give fresh impetus to the privatisation drive in a speech to candidates in elections in November to become police and crime commissioners (PCCs).

“I hope you will all consider the value of private sector partnering to achieve both cost savings and better services for the public,” he told them.

“The police force is, and will remain, a public service accountable to the people. Business decisions with business planning will be taken by locally-elected PCCs.”

Mr Green added: “Every pound saved means a pound saved to be used on the front-line, putting officers on the streets.  I want more officers to be out there getting on with the job of fighting crime - we all know they can’t do it if they are bogged down with red tape.”

G4S is pitching for a series of contracts to take over civilian posts in police forces, including a bid to part-run a police station in Lincolnshire. Several forces, however, have put a hold on such moves and the Cabinet Office has warned that it is going to review the security giant’s performance “very carefully”.

G4S told Olympics organisers that they would not be able to supply enough staff just two weeks before the games started, forcing ministers to draft in thousands of troops to plug the gaps.

The home affairs select committee, which is investigating the episode, heard that at worse G4S supplied 35 per cent fewer officers than it originally promised - and nearly two-thirds of venues experienced a shortfall of more than 15 per cent .

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman, said: “It is difficult to look beyond their inability to deliver on the contracted number of security personnel that we were consistently assured by them that they would be able to deliver.”

Nick Buckles, the chief executive of G4S, told the committee: “I’m not going to sit here and say we did a great job. But we delivered a significant portion of that contract and our people did an excellent job and played a major part in delivering these Games. We are planning to take a £50 million loss on this contract.”

He said police outsourcing was an important growth area for G4S, which currently contributes at least £20m a year to its revenues. He added that the involvement of private contractors in police services would do “nothing to disrupt the bobby on the beat” and described outsourcing as “an absolutely positive move forward for police forces”.

Mr Green described November’s elections of the first PCCs as “the most significant democratic reform of policing in our lifetime” and insisted the new police chiefs would help to involve the public in the policing of their neighbourhoods.

The elections have been mired in controversy over the standard of candidates for the posts and the withdrawal of some after it emerged some had stood down because they had minor convictions as youngsters. The Home Office and the Electoral Commission are to run publicity campaigns about the elections amid fears that the turn-out could fall below 20 per cent

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Developer - Permanent - London - Up to £50k

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...

Physics Teacher

£130 - £162 per day + UPS: Randstad Education Hull: Physics Teacher Long Term ...

IT Technician (1st/2nd line support) - Leatherhead, Surrey

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Technician (1st/2nd line support)...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn