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Privitised police force

Discussion in 'Politics & Economy Forum' started by la gran siete, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    No you are misunderstanding the point I made, I am not talking abou changing the redistribution, purely about an ability to appoint another contractor who is willing capable of delivering a quality service for the same cost.
  2. Exemplar

    Exemplar Active Member

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    Interesting point by dejongj. I too live in a village but it's a new one and as the developers have not yet finished the roads have not been adopted. This makes for an interesting situation in that there is no legally enforceable speed limit on the estate, no parking regulations etc. unfortunately people know this and do speed to excess (one guy in his evo really does treat it as a racetrack), people park on blind bends, block corners and leave their cars fully on pavements. The police really are powerless and at a recent parish council meeting admitted that there was nothing they could do until the roads were adopted or there was a fatality.

    So my point is I would loath seeing a private force patrolling as if they were the police, that is the job of the police. Any youth now is savvy enough to know the difference between plastic/ real copper and would just tell them to do one. However they may make certain sectors of the community feel safer.
  3. la gran siete

    la gran siete Active Member

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    if you think that why join the thread?:confused:
  4. Toko Black

    Toko Black Active Member

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    It's not the same bank account though.

    The money may come from the public purse, but you are placing a share holder in the middle.
    Introducing a share holder changes the dynamic of the priorities of any service.

    The police currently are there to serve the public first and be cost effective as a lesser priority.
    With share holders, the first priority is always to the profit first with serving the public as a less significant factor.

    In any organisation there are people to a lesser and greater extent that are self serving. However, the corporate business environment and ethos ingenders that attitude to a greater degree than none profit organistions.

    To me, it is a question of priorities - ethics > cost or cost > ethics.

    That is not to say one is without the other, merely which is the most significant to the focus of the service or customer.

    Personally, when it comes to areas like law and public saftey, I would want to see my services run effeciently and effectively but most importantly of all, with the priorty being that of ethics over cost.
  5. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    This is how I view it too - certain things should not be privatised, the police service being one of them. Privatisation will always bring an element of profit-seeking, something that should not be part of a service designed to protect the public.
  6. sidicks

    sidicks Well-Known Member

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    Which is fine, as long as it is recognised that with a finite budget, the scope of services is reduced.

    Sidicks
  7. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat Active Member

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    Because its your thread. Therefore there is a default position which must be adopted and defended. To not respond would be a sign of weakness. :smashin:
  8. Toko Black

    Toko Black Active Member

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    That's an unavoidable practicality of life.

    It's like the NHS, there simply isn't enough money to do everything possible for every person in any given situation.
    Tough decisions have to be made.
    There are always going to be people that loose out no matter what we do. It is a case of how many people we are prepared to loose to save money or how many people are we prepared to save to loose money.
  9. dovercat

    dovercat Guest

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    Private contractors I assume would be competing on cost effectiveness, price. With targets to meet, possibly payment by results and a level of services that must be provided. The budget is assigned in the most cost efficient manner to meet those objectives. The problem is that is how decisions on what is provided is prioritised, and the quality of service evaluated.
    How much is solving a murder worth, how much is solving a burglary, etc? How much is justice worth vs getting someone convicted?
    I think it would be become a question of at what point does a crime become non cost effective to pursue or a service not cost effective to provide.

    Private contractors can win and lose contracts they may seek to curry favor with those awarding the contracting. If those awarding the contracts are elected locally they will want a service that is popular with the majority of their electorate or is the cheapest - lowest tax.
    High crime areas are a minority and expensive to effectively police, what motivation will there be to effectively police them beyond a minimum required service.

    It is the equally and impartial and fairly enforcing the law that I see as a problem. That requires no motive other than public service.
    I think with private sector contracts the assessment on quality of service would be primarily financial cost effectiveness with performance targets. Equally, impartial and fairly just meaning they have a non discrimination and minimum quality and level of service requirement.
    The most important aspect of policing may just be treated as a minimum quality and level of service requirement, rather than the aim, objective and purpose of how police should operate in applying and enforcing the law.
    It becomes a question of are they trying to be impartial and fair (serve the public) or our they trying to meet targets (performance cost effective) while not breaking minimum quality of service requirements by being too unfair.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  10. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely those are very agreeable points and would need to be resolved (avoided?) in any procurement/management process. It is possible, however as said earlier in this thread I would seriously doubt the ability of incumbent civil servants to embark on such a procurement exercise successfully. All of those concerns voiced could be resolved but will require a top notch forward thinking team with excellent abilities to procure and manage such services. And that is the bit where I have got serious concerns, not whether the officers themselves are civil servants or not.
  11. sidicks

    sidicks Well-Known Member

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    Agreed - some people seem to think you can have both...
    ;)
    Sidicks
  12. travid

    travid Active Member

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    Agreed.

    Certainly my part of the public service, Prisons, have Exceeded their targets by, on average, 37%. we are still threatened by privatisation, the most recent being HMP Birmingham. The cost was cheaper over 5 years, via the public service. The last 10 years out of a 15 year contract, was cheaper by the private firm. This was due to increasing costs, apparently pensions. Strangley, landing staff ratio to prisoners has risen from 20:1 to 50:1, whilst management increased by 10. Staff safety

    IMO, the ethics question is quite simple, does society feel it is ethical to have "prisons for profit" or not. Whilst in work,

    I have all the powers of a constable, including the right to arrest, use force to do so and also use a baton to defend myself. I am paid well for this and feel I have a responsibility and a duty of care to both the public and the inmates.

    Abolishing central purchasing is one obvious way of saving millions and lowering our carbon footprint.

    New staff, from March 1st, will now be on the new pension arrangements. Better late than never I suppose.
  13. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Accountability.

    Police officers are accountable entirely to the public they serve, do you really believe a private company would give 2 hoots about the public as long as the dividend keeps coming? Of course not.

    I always find it rather strange when we talk about privatisation and automatically assume more efficient (cheaper in real world terms) is better. I used to work for the regional electricity board which was nationalised, they all got sold off to private companies and slowly deregulated.

    I can tell you now without a shadow of a doubt that yes, it was cheaper, because we had half the staff and equipment that we used to. The problem was we couldn't actually do any maintenance because we didn't have the manpower or equipment available to do it. Not to mention that maintenance costs a lot of money relative to the return.

    When I left in 2007 it was so bad that we couldn't even climb some pylon lines because they were in such an incredibly poor state of repair. No one cared though because someone was making a bloody fortune. Even when it was nationalised the company never made a loss and the service was incredible.

    Privatised companies care about profit, profit and profit. Do we really want our policing functions to have that number one priority? I don't think so.

    While I'm no privatisation Luddite (BT is a great example) privatising areas like prisons and policing is simply a step too far. Service will suffer despite the reassurances from government and surprisingly private companies. Theresa May said the police cuts would not affect the front line and we all know how that's going don't we?
  14. Anotherlimey

    Anotherlimey Active Member

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    It's ok for someone to call another member a troll and then be backed up by a mod now for having a left wing opinion in a mainly right wing forum?

    There was me thinking Sidicks should be warned and not backed up by the people that are supposed to keep the peace here, confused :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  15. NewMan

    NewMan Active Member

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    Read the bit in all mod sigs that says something to the effect of:

    and learn to tell the difference between an official view and personal opinion - or another forum member having a bit of a sarky moment.
  16. Anotherlimey

    Anotherlimey Active Member

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    Oh iv'e read that bit, but i always belive that you have to lead by example, ofcourse Mods are human and can have a laugh but on the other hand they will be warning people and even banning members for such actions, just saying ;)
  17. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Back on topic or else.:mad:

    :p
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. la gran siete

    la gran siete Active Member

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    and that to me summarises my reservations about privitisation. Because its about profits , services being of secondary importance.
    I can well imagine the type of thick thugs on a power trip a privitised police force would attract as well
  19. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    To be fair to the security industry they have done a great job regulating it with SIA accreditation and training for door staff etc.

    There are some really really good private security guards and some very poor ones. Bit like the police really.
  20. la gran siete

    la gran siete Active Member

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    fair enough I remember some of the so called security contracted for some rock venues I went to in the past .Most of them looked like they wanted to plant a fist in someone's face
  21. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    They did 10 or 15 years ago but not any more. Private security is far far more professional these days.
  22. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I agree with the sentiment around accountability, however rationally it is not beyond the imagination to incorporate such elements in services that are contracted out. I would be surprised if those elements weren't part and parcel of a contracted put service, however I would fully expect it to be "missed" of "Bradley covered" in such arrangement. But that doesn't necessarily makes it a bad idea, possibly a badly implemented idea and the likely hood will be quite high.
  23. sidicks

    sidicks Well-Known Member

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    So basically what you are saying is:
    "all existing police are 'salt of the earth' types"
    "all private security personnel are thugs"

    Nothing like a good stereotype...(when it suits you) :(
  24. la gran siete

    la gran siete Active Member

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    yes, i was going back even further. i remember when festivals used Hells Angels for security because they were very cheap :rolleyes:.When the likes of Glastonbury started using regular police it was altogether much better.I dont remember witnessing any trouble and most of the police looked pretty relaxed, maybe even amused by some of the antics
  25. Toko Black

    Toko Black Active Member

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    One could flip your arguement around on it's head and argue in the same way that rationally, goverment run services could work as cost effectively as private services as long as they are organised and implimented in the right way.

    The organisation and implimentation is the problem.
  26. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. Don't disagree with that at all. So one the questions is, what would be the real driver behind this?
  27. kav

    kav Well-Known Member

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    The same driver that's behind every private enterprise - profit and delivery of the service as [-]efficiently[/-] cheaply as possible. And that's why privatising the police service would be the wrong thing to do - the safety and security of people would become cells in a spreadsheet with a value spat out on the bottom.
  28. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    That is not what I mean, what is the driver from the Governments perspective to privatise? What do they want to achieve?

    One of the reasons to outsource is that it is not part of the core business, yet policing obviously is. In order to procure the right services, the Government need to be very clear what they want to achieve by contracting it out otherwise it will be tears in the delivery and fulfilment with lots of unfulfilled expectations and thwarted intentions.
  29. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    With the greatest of respect, it is blatantly obvious what the government are trying to achieve. Savings.

    The government don't care about service delivery because once it's privatised it's no longer their fault. Same with the crazy new idea of police and crime commisioners, blame them not the government.
  30. dejongj

    dejongj Well-Known Member

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    With the greatest of respect, of course it goes wrong if all you want is savings without identifying where you would like them. That is the point TB highlighted so succinctly with regards to organisation and implementation. I've seen it in other organisations, if they can't get themselves under control (and in this case it is the Police force) others possibly less qualified will do it for them.

    Of-course it will still be the governments fault if it fails, it is one of the core services that has to be provided. As such the Government will still have to manage those contracts.

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