Police shelve 'privatisation' plans but approve business case

12/07 Updated: 13/07 10:23

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WEST Midlands Police has postponed controversial plans to join up with the private sector.

The force's business partnership proposals will not be looked at again until the new police commissioner (PCC) has been elected in November.

Commissioners will have the final decision on whether police hand over some services to private firms. However, chiefs did approve the business case put forward at a Police Authority meeting earlier today (Thursday).

They claim the plan is not about privatisation and firms will not provide core services such as patrolling streets.

A spokesman said the postponement was made in light of Surrey Police's decision to suspend its involvement in the process.

"Work will continue on the West Midlands programme so the new PCC has a range of options when he or she takes office.

"The force and the authority remain committed to transforming services to provide the best and most effective policing for our communities."

At least £5 million is thought to have already been spent on the plans and public sector union UNISON welcomed the decision.

Regional organiser Charlie Sarell said: "Today the West Midlands Policing Authority has made the right decision.

"One that will be welcomed by police staff across the West Midlands Police Force who are extremely anxious about their future and by the wider community who value the integrated service provided by both police staff and police officers."

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