Privatisation of the Police Service – how would it work?

I was mooching round with a PC last night and we had a very interesting conversation. We were so short of officers that I crewed up and we dealt with several incidents. All were alcohol fuelled, and we were managing by the skin of our teeth.
There were domestics, a stabbing, fights, an RTC and criminal damage.

So let’s picture how this would be dealt with in the future.

caller:. Hello….. Police please.

call taker: What type of incident do you wish to report?

caller: Um?…. Well someone has written nasty stuff on Facebook about me.

call take:r ok, I will send the call through to G4, and they will call back within 4 hours.

caller: I want the police, is this the right number?

call taker: yes you have the right number, Facebook issues are now dealt with by private security in the first instance…….

caller:. Click…….brrrrrrrrr

Sounds good?

You think this is a bit far fetched?
With the cuts in the Police service and the potential loss of 16,000 ‘front line’ officers, I don’t think it is.

We were totally stretched to the point that there were absolutely no units available for anything who came in. Calls from CCTV were being deflected as there was just no officers to send. It was by a wing and a pray that we didn’t have any other serious jobs come in. It was more luck than anything.

If we had privatised security firms to do jobs such as Harassment, Facebook ‘crimes’, theft, and Security walking around on the streets instead of officers or PCSO’s, just how would that reflect with the public?

So if we decided that as of today we are no longer going to attend these situations and we send it over Security Patrols to deal, what are the chances that we would end up going anyway?

A shoplifter gets brought back in to the store after stealing some clothing. Shops radio comes through and security is sent. They have to call up for PNC checks, they decide that as the person is prolific he will be arrested, so what do they do? Do they take them in to custody? Do they called a Police Officer? What if the person kicks off? What powers would they have to restrain? By the time we could have gone there, dealt with it by either arrest or RJ, or ticket etc, we would only now be getting called.

If Security services started doing jobs of the police- would we have to give them access to our intelligence systems? Data Protection is a sensitive issue, and what right would they have to have access to that? For the crime itself, would they crime it and do all the paperwork and interview, or would that then get handed over to another company in Custody.

The Public wouldn’t have a clue what was going on- they want police, but get an initial visit by an orange florescent jacket telling the householder that they are going to be dealing with it.
What then would happen to the CSO’S -they play an important role in the structure of our organisation, but if security then start to turn up, I am just not sure that they would be taken seriously.

How would the role of a Police Officer be perceived if this was to happen? I am really not sure, I feel that we would be a bit out of touch. We go to jobs, we have attended the same addresses and we get to know the same people, so how exactly would we get to interact with our community if a private security firm is sent on patrol to a group of youths for example? Just how seriously are they going to take them? If they swore at them would they then call us to deal?
It is the front line officers who know what is going on, who is who, and where to target our patrols, so how would this happen if we are sending different companies to these community issues.

This is where the role of Constable and CSO’s are so important, we know what’s going on.
Yes we have street wardens, we have parking attendants, but do we see them regularly? Do we get regular information about what’s going on? No, so how can we be effective.

It’s a very worrying time and last night when we were without any units, if there was another Grade A come in the wheel would have very badly come off, and we always manage, we always just get by, and we do because we work very hard to keep the wheel turning, but by privatising parts of the police is not the answer, less officers, but replaced by security officers? It’s a very frightening thought.

The public need to be made aware of what could potentially be disastrous.


One Response to “Privatisation of the Police Service – how would it work?”
  1. David Woods says:

    Reblogged this on ThinnerBlueLine.

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