News that the government has been forced to bring in 3,500 troops to guard the London Games as G4S fails to deliver, should serve as a stark warning to police chiefs thinking about selling-off core functions, says Unite.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, is fighting to get plans to privatise West Midlands police ditched as the force’s chief constable, Chris Sims, presses ahead with plans to sell-off core police functions to the very same G4S and other profit-first companies.
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: "The fiasco G4S has made of security at the London Olympics should serve as a very clear warning to any police force contemplating using this outfit to provide core police services. Yet again a public service - this time the army - is forced to mop up after a failing private contractor, at considerable cost to the taxpayer and damage to the reputation of London's Olympics.
"If G4S can cut corners with the Olympics, then it doesn't bear thinking about what they will do to essential police services like 999 call handling or forensics. It beggars belief that these private companies can be seriously considered as providers of essential public services like policing.
"The chief constable of the West Midlands must now make it absolutely clear that this dangerous, costly and unwanted dabbling with policing for profit is herewith abandoned."
Unite police support staff are protesting outside West Midlands police headquarters today (Thursday 12 July), to warn that ‘selling-off our police is a crime’, as the sell-off of West Midlands police moves a step closer.
WHEN: Since 10am, Thursday 12 July 2012
WHERE: Outside the public meeting of the West Midlands Police Authority, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6AT.
Unite is so concerned over the force’s failure to tell the public of its plans and to provide robust costings that it has launched a public awareness campaign, warning that ‘selling-off our police is a crime’.
Under guidance from the Home Office, both the West Midlands and Surrey police have advertised contracts worth £1.5 billion to private companies to run policing services in both forces.
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 or Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777.
Notes to editors:
Ad Van route
- Tuesday 10 July from 8.30am: Birmingham city centre and Wolverhampton city centre after 12.30pm.
- Wednesday 11 July from 8.30am: As per Monday am and Coventry city centre after 12.30pm.
- Day of protest: Thursday 12 July from 8.30am: All day Birmingham city centre. The van will stop off outside the demo at WM police headquarters for a photo op from 10.00am.
- Friday 13 July from 8.30am: All day Birmingham city centre.
- Saturday 14 July from 8.30am: Birmingham city centre followed by Solihull town centre after 12.30pm.