The announcement that the new West Midlands police and crime commissioner (PCC) Bob Jones intends to halt the privatisation of core police services was hailed as “a victory for common sense” by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Unite welcomed the announcement today (Thursday 22 November) that the Business Partnering for Policing Programme – the gateway to privatisation – will cease.
Unite national officer Fiona Farmer said: “The threat to privatise core police functions, except the power of arrest, in the West Midlands has been halted by today’s excellent decision by Bob Jones.
“The privatisation of police services would have gravely dented staff morale; led to the fragmentation of services by private companies in pursuit of big profits; created a two-tier workforce; and resulted in seriously eroding the fight against crime.
“Unite had campaigned strongly against the misguided attempt by the former police authority to proceed with privatisation that could have seen services, such as 999 call handling, neighbourhood patrols and the forensics service being handed over to the private sector.
“This is a victory for common sense and Unite calls on the other newly- elected police and crime commissioners to follow Bob Jones’ courageous example and reject the privatisation route that is an anathema to the general public.”
Bob Jones, who has been a long-standing Labour councillor in Wolverhampton, said: “I wish to see core policing services remain within the police service. Staff and officers exercising police powers and the staff who support them in fulfilling those powers must remain under the direction and control of and accountable to the chief constable.”
The West Midlands police authority had put its privatisation plans on hold in the summer, pending the PCC elections which were held last week.
Today, Unite also supported a joint union call for newly-elected PCCs and chief constables to sign up to a new Police Staff Employment Charter which seeks to promote fairness, equality and accountability across police forces and between police workers.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.