The contract between G4S and Lincolnshire Police will not be extended in a landmark decision by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner as he seeks to find more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing things.
G4S began providing services for the county’s force back in April 2012 in a deal worth more than £22m per year.
But today (Tuesday) PCC Marc Jones took the decision not to extend the contract for a further five years beyond the initially agreed timescale – which expires on March 31, 2022.
G4S currently employ around 580 people providing services for Lincolnshire Police which include the Force Control Room, Firearms Licensing, the Crime Management Bureau, Custody Detention Officers, IT and Estates Management.
The PCC says a transition team will now be put in place as Lincolnshire Police work to ensure the plans for the future delivery of services will meet the needs of the people of Lincolnshire and the force’s budget constraints.
By potentially breaking up the large and unwieldy contract, the PCC believes he can maybe seek better value for money for some of the separate services provided without cutting standards. The PCC has now asked the force to consider a variety of options including moving some services back in-house, collaboration with other forces or public sector organisations and awarding contracts to commercial suppliers.
The possibility of creating a wholly owned subsidiary to run some services will also be examined, which could generate income from providing its services for other forces or authorities and lower the demand on tax payers. A one-year extension to the G4S contract may be considered to give time to create alternative arrangements.
Lincolnshire Police and G4S will assess the plans for future service delivery in relation to the initial transfer of staff to the new employer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) and ensure that they are compliant.
Mr Jones foresees that demands for some aspects of the contract may alter, such as how the people choose to communicate with the force, shifting away from phone calls to text and online. The police are more often sharing buildings with fire and ambulance colleagues and could share contractprs, and it may also mean greater investment in using local employers’ services, benefitting the local economy.
Mr Jones thanked G4S for “a decade of committed and valued service” for the people of Lincolnshire but said his decision was based purely on providing the best possible affordable police service for the communities of Lincolnshire.
“My decision is absolutely no reflection on the value of the services G4S has provided to Lincolnshire Police or the committed and hard working individuals who have worked for the company on behalf of the county,” he said.
“G4S and its staff have provided a decade of committed and valued services.
“But as part of my drive to provide the most effective and efficient modern policing service in the UK it is vital that we are fleet of foot in how we deploy staff and develop services and it is imperative we do so within our budget.
“The pace of change in technology, criminal activity and demand for services is much quicker than it was even a decade ago and it is crucial that we have a force able to quickly respond to these changes.
“I am confident the decision will provide us new opportunities to improve the services we provide for the people of Lincolnshire, ensure we invest as much as possible in the front-line and continue to keep out communities safe.”