The Olympic games are not long behind us but still lodged in the public mind is the very public failure of private security company G4S and their inability to provide the necessary number of fully trained security staff.
Despite the Olympic fiasco with security caused by the lack of G4S security staff, three counties of the police are still planning on outsourcing their back office operations to the company. Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces did decide to reconsider the contract after the troubles at the Olympics but have since confirmed that they will go ahead with the contract regardless.
The contract is reportedly worth seventy seven million pounds and includes the running of both HR and IT services at the three counties. The security firm suffered greatly after its Olympic failure which prompted a questioning of the use of private firms for public services.
G4S already has a contract with Lincolnshire's police. As part of the assessment of whether or not to go ahead with the outsourcing, this existing relationship was examined. The decision could lead to more than one thousand jobs being outsourced. The three forces reassured that "the work to develop the full business case will continue to scrutinise the Lincolnshire Police/G4S contract and assess the ability of the contract to meet the specific requirements of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire." Similarly, a G4S spokesman added that "the Olympics contract has been delivered by a completely separate part of the G4S group, which has no links to our policing business. G4S Policing Support Services is run by different management, has a large workforce and has consistently provided excellent service to its clients."
Despite the above assurances from both G4S and the forces themselves, it seems that the public is not happy about the decision to go ahead with the outsourcing. Not only will jobs be lost to the private sector but people are still reluctant to trust G4S following the Olympic fiasco. The public will not be swayed by the fact that this method cuts costs. Fighting crime and protecting the public is much more important to the public than the issue of cost cutting.