Private firms ‘to patrol streets’ in UK

Posted on March 3, 2012

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Police are poised to bring in private companies to investigate crimes and patrol neighbourhoods, it has been reported.

Two forces, West Midlands and Surrey, are asking security firms to bid for contracts, worth £1.5 billion over seven years, to run some services that are currently carried out by officers, according to the Guardian.

Successful firms would have a wide range of responsibilities, including detaining suspects and responding to incidents, but would not be able to arrest suspects.

In a briefing note sent to companies, which was seen by the newspaper, all services that “can be legally delegated to the private sector” are potentially up for contract. Administrative roles, such as legal services and managing forensics, are also set to be outsourced.

The move will spark fears about privatisation within the police force. Ben Priestley, Unison’s national officer for police and justice, told the Guardian: “Bringing the private sector into policing is a dangerous experiment with local safety and taxpayers’ money.

Yahoo News

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