The Conservative led Coalition Government is supporting and indeed encouraging police forces across the country to privatise many aspects of their work. We have already seen the downside of earlier privatisation of many parts of the public sector. Privatising policing not only poses a major threat to jobs and services but will also serve to undermine public confidence , the very foundation of an effective police force and policing. The police need this trust and confidence, as an engaged and involved community is an extension of the criminal justice system. The public expect to be served by police officers not private security firms when they become victims of, or wish to report crime.
Evidence for this potentially catastrophic breach of trust comes in a poll, commissioned by the union Unite, which says that some 61 per cent of the public would be less likely to report a crime if they knew their personal information was being accessed by a third party. The poll comes as plans to privatise parts of the police force unravel, with the announcement that the pilot forces in the West Midlands and Surrey are to bow to pressure for greater public consultation on the plans.
The policing budget is already facing cuts of 20% over the next few years as a result of coalition policy.We therefore need to oppose privatisation now.
I recently attended a street stall on the issue and was heartened at the cross party support for a petition to stop privatisation. Bath Labour Party have organised an online petition. If you wish to support it go to Bath Labour Party petition against the privatisation of policing