Private partnership business case makes it clear that core policing services will not be affected
5 July 2012
WEST Midlands Police has today (Thursday) made public the business case for its Business Partnering for Police programme (BPP).
BPP is exploring the possibility of whether the force can work with the private sector to transform the way policing is delivered and improve services to the public.
The plan makes it clear that the programme is not about privatisation and any partner will not deliver core policing services like patrolling, responding to calls for help, investigating crime and managing dangerous offenders.
The force is looking at how working with industry could improve policing services in a period where the financial context remains a challenging one.
To-date, savings of £78 million pounds have been made and crime is at a record low but the force recognises that to continue improving service and providing public protection it will need to add something different to the policing mix. As a result, it is looking at ways of transforming the service.
New figures released by the force today show that total recorded crime plummeted by over 9,500 offences to levels not seen in a generation.
The force is not complacent though and firmly believes more can be done to improve the service it delivers.
The 28 page business case is to be presented to the Police Authority for approval next week (Thursday 12 July).
The report explores the following areas in terms of any future partnership.
‘Transformation capacity’ looks at what a business partner could give the public in terms of more choice in how to contact the force and more choice in how cases are managed. It also looks at resource control and management and how they could be improved.
The ‘enhanced delivery’ element makes it clear that a partner will not be involved in visible services or where the powers of a constable are required but could work alongside leadership teams to introduce new ways of working.
The ‘direct delivery’ section outlines how a partner may be able to transform and reduce costs by direct operation. Areas where this could take place are in custody, finance, criminal justice, call handling, data recording and information technology.
However, each area would need a careful assessment and it is still too early to define which areas could be subject to direct operation. Any form of direct delivery would need careful judgements, weighing up the benefits and the impact on the public and staff.
The paper is also explicit about the accountability of any future partner. Critically, it makes a clear reference to the role of the incoming Police and Crime Commissioner and the fundamental role they will play in progressing the programme.
The force makes it clear that the programme is not about privatisation and any partner will not deliver core policing services like patrolling, responding to calls for help, investigating crime and managing dangerous offenders.
Later this summer the force plans to launch a public consultation on the shape of policing for the future.
Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson said: “We are acutely aware that BPP has been hotly debated. Some of those debates have been based on myths surrounding the programme and I hope that the business plan will go some way to clarify the force position and allay concerns people might have on the programme.
“The Chief Constable has been very clear that the programme is not about privatisation and I want to reiterate that West Midlands Police is not for sale.
“We are committed to bringing about transformational change in order to improve service delivery.
“The changes we want to bring in cannot be ordered from a catalogue; we have to create them and we want to achieve this transformation by combining the things we have and the wealth of skills we already bring with the capabilities of a partner.
“While we continue to be successful in tackling crime, with crime at its lowest levels in a generation in some key areas we believe we could do more”.
“By working with a business partner we believe we will be able to improve the services we provide to the public and operate more effectively.”
The business plan is a living document that will evolve and be updated as the programme develops.