13 Feb 2012

Private security firm could run UK police station

Private security contractor G4S could be on the verge of signing the first deal to build and run a police station in the UK.

Private security contrator G4S which is close to signing a deal to build and run a police station in Lincolnshire (Getty)

The Financial Times reports Lincolnshire Police Authority is near to completing a deal which will see the security giant build and run a police station in the county.

The contract would mean the security firm would take over jobs currently done by police officers and the deal has caused concern among police unions.

Just over half of the Lincolnshire force’s 900-strong civilian staff will switch to become G4S employees.

The contract is thought to be worth £200m over 10 years and the FT reports that other police forces who are seeking to counter swingeing cuts to their budgets, are considering following Lincolnshire.

Subject to contract, the partnership will deliver firearms licensing, run the custody and ID unit and the force control room (excluding the inspector role) among other services.

Significant savings

When the plan was announced in December 2011, Lincolnshire Police Authority said: “The partnership deal has the widest scope of any for policing in the country and is now open to other authorities.

“Over the period of the contract this new approach will make significant savings, whilst also providing investment in key areas like IT infrastructure. The subsequent streamlining of processes will free up officer time to concentrate on operational policing.

The Lincolnshire model is the new benchmark; underpinning the future of local policing and investing in new technologies and services.”

In 2011, West Midlands police contracted out some of its anti-terror operations to G4S. The firm, three of whose employees are currently under investigation in connection with the death of an Angolan asylum seeker in 2010, is also in the running to take over management of social housing for asylum seekers across the country.