POLICE are one step closer to sealing a deal in which private companies could run some of the force’s services – including the 999 call centre.
Five businesses have been shortlisted to compete for a contract which could be worth between £200m and £2bn.
The services they hope to provide for Lincolnshire Police include human resources, finance, IT support, legal services, vehicle maintenance and running emergency call centres.
The move follows Govern-ment spending cuts which have forced Lincolnshire Police Authority to make savings of £20m over the next four years.
The firms hoping to secure the contract are The Capita Bluelight Alliance, Serco and Logica, Steria with Reliance, Northgate Information Solutions and G4S.
Chief Constable Richard Crompton said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to save considerable sums of taxpayers’ money while transforming the service the public receives from Lincolnshire Police.
“I look forward to the next stage of the process as we seek to find the right strategic partner to work with in the long term.”
Lincolnshire Police Authority has assured the public that they will not notice a change in the standard of service provided.
Chairman Barry Young said: “We are delighted that companies with national and international reputations are interested in joining us to transform the way in which we do business.
“We have had experience of working with partners for a number of years – although not on such a large scale – and we know that new and compelling ideas can flow from collaboration and partnership.
“Put simply our intention is to provide the best value and best possible policing for the people of Lincolnshire.”
The force will also lose 130 staff during the next four years.
A survey conducted by the Police Federation nationally found that 98 per cent of police officers who responded, which included 297 from Lincolnshire, have seen a drop in morale since the announcement was made. Eighty seven per cent fear crime levels could rise as a result and 91 per cent think the standard of service provided to the public will fall.
The chairman of Lincolnshire Police Federation, Stuart Hamilton, has branded cutbacks as “criminal” and urged people to lobby their MPs to reverse the cuts.
Crime falls – page 33