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2010 Police and Justice Service Group Conference
13 October 2010

Conference notes with extreme concern the decision of Cleveland Police to privatise its 999 Service and the transfer of jobs and services of over 600 police staff to a foreign owned, profit making company. This organisation, although being funded by the public purse, is unaccountable to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Conference further notes that Cleveland Police Authority has:

1Failed to consult with the residents of Cleveland over this unprecedented transfer of police services to the private sector, as required under Section 96 of the Police Act 1996;

2Failed to comply with Part 3 of the Home Office ‘Best Value and Planning Guidance’ for Police Authorities and Forces (2003), by not consulting local people or staff and trade unions on the privatisation;

3Reneged on the requirements of the Policing Plan Regulations to involve UNISON in either the options appraisal or contractor selection process.

4 Refused to provide Equality Impact assessments.

5Refused to provide a business case outlining alleged deficits or the reasoning behind choosing a private company over public service as the only means or reducing deficits

Conference believes that these privatisation proposals are ill conceived, dangerous and not in the best interests of the communities they serve and put at risk a strategic approach to police service IT provision in the future. This in turn could end up costing other police forces more money for their IT provision.

Police Staff produce a quality, effective service and are not driven by profit. This is proved by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) rating the Cleveland Control Room being recognised as the second most effective in England and Wales.

Conference welcomes the campaign which the Cleveland Police Branch and the Northern Region of UNISON have been waging, with the substantial support of other police branches, to oppose the privatisation since the initial announcement in September 2008. Conference also welcomes the support which the Police and Justice Service Group Executive (SGE) has been able to give the local campaign via a General Protection Fund (GPF) bid for £5000 to support the production of a highly successful postcard consultation with 150,000 Cleveland residents.

Conference condemns the actions of police forces like Cleveland which are putting at risk the high performing services of the directly employed workforce. We are sure that other Police Authorities and Chief Constables will be keeping a careful watch on the progress within Cleveland, particularly in light of the current financial restraints on Police budgets.

Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

a)Continue to provide all the support and assistance necessary to the branches faced with privatisation threats;

b)Highlight the pitfalls and give direction to Branches threatened with outsourcing being used as an alternative to compulsory redundancies

c)Continue to lobby the Home Office, Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly and national police stakeholders to recognise the dangers of privatising vital policing services;

d)Work with UNISON’s Million Voices Campaign to integrate individual branch and regional campaigns with the union’s overall campaign against privatisation and the defence of directly provided, quality police services.

e)Pass onto the members in Cleveland and in other forces affected by dangerous privatisation plans, the support and solidarity of this Police and Justice Conference.