|In a few hours private security companies like G4S could be on their way to controlling big parts of West Mercia police. The new police and crime commissioner elections are tomorrow (Thursday 15th) and there’s a big danger that pro-privatisation candidates could get in with just a few votes.
That’s why we need to sound the alarm and get our friends and family to the polling stations armed with the facts. Over the last few days, 38 Degrees members have emailed all the candidates to find out who supports privatisation. You can see what your candidates say about privatisation at the bottom of this email.
Please forward this email to your friends and family to get them to go and vote.
Hardly anyone knows that these elections are even happening – experts reckon less than one in five people could vote. That means there’s a huge danger that we could end up with commissioners that few people even voted for privatising our police forces.
Voting is easy - you just go along to your polling station, probably the same place as you would vote in a general election. Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm so it’s easy to go before or after work and you don’t even need to bring your polling card with you.
Please forward this email to your family and friends, and remind them to vote in the police elections tomorrow, or share a reminder to vote on Facebook by clicking this link:
Thanks for being involved,
James, David, Hannah and the 38 Degrees team
Here’s what the West Mercia candidates said to 38 Degrees members about privatisation. Not all of them have given a clear answer about privatisation, some have made a distinction between “back office” and “frontline” privatisation. Others have said they won’t privatise but may consider outsourcing – having a private company take over some parts of the work that police forces do.
Dr Simon Murphy (Labour):
All companies that meet the required criteria to submit a tender for service provision will be considered objectively in line with procurement rules and regulations. The payment of the Living Wage by contractors retained by West Mercia is an objective I will seek to deliver over my term in office.
One of the roles I currently occupy is as an Associate with Deloitte. I am aware that this company has tendered in the past to provide support services to police forces and may well do so in the future.
If I am elected I will institute a review of all existing West Mercia contracts with private sector companies. This will be conducted with a view to generating additional benefits and/or financial savings for the force.
Adrian Blackshaw (Conservatives):
I am very happy to repeat the unequivocally undertaking I have previously given to the Police Federation and repeated at a number of public meetings that I have no intention of outsourcing any aspects of front-line policing services should I be elected as Police & Crime Commissioner for West Mercia on 15th November.
I have no business interests in G4S or any similar business.
Bill Longmore (Independent):
I would have to hear a very convincing argument before I would consider privatising current police services. It is apparent that previous decisions have been made in relation to privatisation across a range of public services where standards have been allowed to drop as a result of these types of decisions being made.
The Commissioner will be responsible for standards and I would be very reluctant to reduce service levels and standards unless a convincing business case was made and it was in the public interest to do so.
These decisions need to be made for the benefit of the people, and not for the benefit of political agendas.
I have no connection with any company that may be interested in a police contract.
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