UK Policing Support Services

  • 24th Jun 2013 11:43
Police could save £1 billion by following Lincolnshire’s lead
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  • A new report shows Lincolnshire Police Service partnership with private sector improving service and delivering greater savings than forecast
  • One year into ten-year partnership with G4S, estimated savings are over 18% or £5m per annum, equivalent to cost of 125 police officers
  • If every force spent the same per head of population as Lincolnshire, national police grant could be reduced by £1 billion
  • Crime across Lincolnshire reduced by 14%

A unique partnership between the police and private sector could be the key to unlocking valuable funds for cash-strapped police forces, according to a new report published today by G4S, Lincolnshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Alan Hardwick.

One year on from the start of the G4S-Lincolnshire Police Strategic Partnership, which saw the bulk of the force’s organisational services transferred to G4S, Lincolnshire Police has been able to make estimated savings of 18 per cent - more than the 13.6 per cent originally guaranteed by G4S.

The savings achieved mean Lincolnshire now spends the lowest amount per head of population on policing in England and Wales. According to Lincolnshire’s PCC, Alan Hardwick, if the other 42 forces in England and Wales could achieve this level of spending, the savings to the national purse would amount to £1 billion.

Alan Hardwick said:

“At the end of 2011, we set out to explore how Lincolnshire Police could deliver services to the people of Lincolnshire more effectively and efficiently, whilst also meeting the challenges of reductions in public sector funding.

“What resulted was an innovative partnership with G4S, and the widest ever outsourcing provision for any police force in the UK. Just over twelve months on from when the contract commenced, we have today published a report on our progress, and I am pleased to say it is working well, delivering not only savings above those expected but also tangible improvements in service that can only benefit our communities.

“Tomorrow’s Spending Review is likely to outline billions of pounds of additional cuts to public spending. This is on top of sizeable reductions already made. For police forces, whose budgets are already nearly 20 per cent leaner than in 2010, the challenge – to improve quality while finding savings – is about to get bigger.

“If others want to deliver more for less, they should come to Lincolnshire. We have not only managed to reduce crime by over 14% (better than most other forces), but we have done so while putting more officers on the beat, improving public confidence and delivering a better service to our communities.”

John Shaw, Managing Director of G4S Policing Support Services, said:

“When we embarked on this partnership with Lincolnshire Police, we made a pledge to guarantee savings to the force, while improving the service to the public. On 1 April 2012, we took over the operation of 18 operational and organisational services, with 575 civilian police staff transferring overnight to G4S. We promised the force a ‘soft landing’ – introducing change gradually as well as enabling police officers to concentrate on frontline duties.

“We have achieved more than we could have expected. We have made significant improvements in the areas one might expect a business outsourcing specialist like G4S to deliver, such as HR and, but also in areas not typically associated with outsourcing provision, such as the Force Control Room –now one of the best performing areas of the partnership.

“We pledged to guarantee savings to Lincolnshire Police of £3.6m per annum – equivalent to a 13.6% saving - while delivering a better service; we have already surpassed this, achieving over 18% estimated savings (over £5m), which equates to the cost of 35 police officers more than we promised.

“This has been achieved with no loss of service, and in many areas real service improvements as measured by the force, such as in the response to 999 calls for example. This is an outstanding result and one on which I expect we will be able to improve over the next nine years.

“There will be many forces around the country facing difficult decisions about how to maintain services in the face of constricting budgets. The past year has been enormously challenging and there are important lessons which can be learned from our experience. We hope that by sharing some of our experience, other forces can learn and ultimately benefit.”

Key highlights

  • 1 April 2012: 575 civilian police staff transfer under TUPE arrangements from Lincolnshire Police to G4S Policing Support Services
  • Over life of the contract G4S is committed to delivering £36m in savings
  • In first year of operation, savings are estimated to be in excess of 18% equating to £5m per year against a plan of £3.6m
  • A four month backlog of files for processing firearms licenses has been cleared and files are now prepared up to two months in advance
  • 999 call response rate improved to an average of over 93% of calls answered within 10 seconds, up from an average of 89% in 2011/12
  • Launch of new Street to Suite™[1] service across the county results in saving of over 1,850 hours of police officers’ time
  • The Force Control Room – which handles all 999 and 111 calls - has increased customer satisfaction to a rate of 94% based on monthly reports from Lincolnshire Police
  • G4S now delivers operational and organisational services worth 20% of Lincolnshire’s budget
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