A&S PCC Sue Mountstevens
There are only a couple of days left to have your say on proposals to contract a private partner to manage the custody service in Avon and Somerset.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary are considering working with a private sector partner to staff the custody units, carry out identification services and transport people we arrest to the new custody suites in Bridgwater, Keynsham, Patchway and to the existing custody site in Yeovil.
The aim of the proposal is to benefit from the expertise of the private sector, who have done this before, and to get the best use out of our buildings and our people.
This has been successfully proven in a similar scheme by Lincolnshire Police who contracted a private security firm to deliver outsourcing for them from 2012. They have saved £5m from their annual budget due to this external contract. Whilst this was a wider deal which saw 18 operational and organisational support areas transfer to a private company, we believe the benefits identified by Lincolnshire could be replicated in the Avon and Somerset proposal to contract a private partner for custody.
This could help us transform the way we operate within the new custody environment. The private company would be responsible for transporting detainees to custody, rather than police officers therefore allowing them to stay on the frontline. This would keep our police officers on the street for as much time as possible and enable them to be more victims focused.
As part of this proposal we’re also reviewing how much it would cost us to run the service. The Government comprehensive spending review required all police forces to find 20% savings over the period up to and including 2014/15 so we must ensure that we achieve the best value for money. As demonstrated by Lincolnshire this proposal could make a contribution to those financial savings.
We are confident that this proposal will ensure the best possible outcome for the communities we serve, but we would like to hear your views on this.
This is an opportunity to give your opinion on a key area of our service and your feedback is really important to us. Nearly 600 people have already given us their opinion by completing our online survey, so don’t miss out.
The online survey closes on 26th October, so this is your final chance.
Posted on Friday 25th October 2013