Give public and officers a say on police privatisation

By Matthew Bates 13/03 Updated: 15/03 10:11

Police commissioner hopeful Mike Olley said there should be a public consultation on the plans to privatise parts of West Midlands Police. (s)

PRIVATISING parts of the police force should not go ahead without robust consultation - a police commissioner hopeful has claimed.

Mike Olley, who hopes to get the Labour Party nomination for the role, said the public deserved to have their voice heard.

West Midlands Police Authority revealed plans to pay private security firms to takeover some of its services. The deal could include private employees guarding crime scenes and patrolling neighbourhoods.

But the Observer reported last week how the new commissioner, due to be elected in November, would be the person who gives the plans the green light - meaning they might not go ahead at all.

Mr Olley said the changes should only be sanctioned if the public wanted them.

He even suggested the tendering process should allow current police teams to submit proposals on how they could work efficiently and save money.

"The safety of families in the West Midlands is too important to be sacrificed to a profit and loss account without first consulting the people who pay for the service.

"It may be the public would say policing is a calling not a business. It may be they feel you can’t solve domestic violence or tackle the August riots by thinking about the company's FTSE index first."

Police commissioner hopeful Mike Olley said there should be a public consultation on the plans to privatise parts of West Midlands Police. (s)

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