Unite: West Midlands police authority delay decision on privatisation

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has welcomed the West Midlands police authority's decision to delay a crucial vote on whether to proceed with privatisation in order to allow public consultation on the plans.

Unite national officer, Peter Allenson said:

"Unite welcomes the decision by the police authority not to progress further until there has been a consultation with the community but we regret that the whole process has not been halted altogether.

"We expect West Midlands Police to hold a proper public consultation and not a PR exercise. The force needs to come clean on exactly what privatisation means for police services because this has huge ramifications for all 43 forces in England and Wales.

"In the meantime even more of taxpayers' money is being wasted to try to turn the police from being a public service into a service motivated by private profit. Unite will be vehemently campaigning over the next few months to stop the privatisation of our police once and for all."

Under the aegis of the Business Partnering for Police programme, the West Midlands Police is being used as a pilot for a programme that could be rolled out across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. Unite, whose police force members fiercely oppose the plans, say that they will see core policing functions, including 999 call handling, prisoner transfer and forensics, put into the hands of profits-first companies.

A report on some of the organisations competing to run police services in the West Midlands can be viewed here: http://www.unitetheunion.org/pdf/4878_TaxAvoidance_4.pdf

Six in 10 people would be less likely to report a crime if they knew that a private company was in charge of their personal data, a survey revealed. The poll, commissioned by Unite the union, says that some 61 per cent would be less likely to report a crime if they knew their personal information was being accessed by a third party.

The union's survey also revealed that nearly 80 per cent of people polled did not realise their police services were up for sale, confirming fears that WMP was trying to rush through the plans.

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315