G4S deal in spotlight after Olympics fiasco

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POLICE in Herts are reconsidering outsourcing back office work to security firm G4S following the debacle over Olympic guards.

The force is currently working with two other county constabularies with a view to offloading departments including human resources, IT and records management to a private company to help slash millions from the budget.

But at a meeting on Monday top cops decided to look again at G4S, with the possibility of finding another private sector partner.

In a statement afterwards Herts Police said: “The meeting took place against the backdrop of recent events relating to the Olympics, with concerns being raised regarding G4S’s ability to deliver.

“Having considered the concerns raised by the chief constables, the group has commissioned further work to explore the ability of the contract and contractor to meet the specific needs of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.”

The move comes after G4S failed to supply enough security guards for the Games, leaving a shortall of around 3,000.

A union representing police officers in the county says combining the three forces’ IT work into a single department would deliver the necessary savings without the need to outsource.

Tara Crawley, joint assistant branch secretary at Herts Police Unison, said: “It’s about maintaining public accountability because all services would remain in-house.

“The G4S fiasco just highlighted how crucial back office functions are. If you can’t get HR and logistics going correctly that means you have no front line.”

Between 2011 and 2016 Herts police needs to cut £70 million from a £210 million budget because of shrinking government grants.