'Policing best left to police - not security firms,' says Cleveland Police's new commissioner

Barry Coppinger

Barry Coppinger

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

CLEVELAND Police could come under increasing pressure from private companies to provide more of its services as the force looks at ways of slashing its budget.

Security, technology and out-sourcing firms are set to test the resolve of the country's 41 newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners, such as Cleveland's Barry Coppinger, with the boss of one saying "they will be all over the police like a rash".

In a meeting with the Home Secretary, Teresa May, last week, Mr Coppinger expressed concern about 20 per cent cuts to his force's overall budget by 2015 which he says threatens the loss of 270 officers.

However, speaking to The Northern Echo today (Sunday, December 9) he indicated that private companies looking to take on core policing duties would be resisted.

Cleveland Police, which sacked its Chief Constable Sean Price in October, already has a £175m deal with French firm Steria for support services including IT, finance and control room work and Mr Coppinger said, while such aspects would be reviewed in the coming weeks and months, he was not aware at this stage of any new approaches.

Bob Jones, the new commissioner for West Midlands Police, said he had turned down meetings with three private firms, despite scrapping a £1.5bn privatisation project with security firm G4S on his first day in office.

And Steria UK chief executive, John Torrie, told the Independent newspaper, said: "Some of the people in there at the present moment are new into this market and they see it as a potentially huge market."

However, Mr Coppinger reiterated his election statement that “core policing work is best dealt with by the police.”

He said: “We already have a contractual engagement and, of course, we will honour that, although we can review how it’s going.

“Our acting chief constable is putting the final touches to a review of force structures, but I’m not aware of any plans to outsource.

“At this stage, my key objectives are appointing a chief constable, the next budget, our police and crime plan and engaging with the public.”

In 2010, 500 IT, finance and control room jobs were outsourced to Steria and in August this year it was announced that 30 of the civilian workers would lose their jobs because Cleveland Police could no longer provide enough work for them.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:07pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Five 0 says...

Mr Coppinger can save all 270 jobs under threat in one easy move. Sell the white elephant of a helicopter now.

It doesnt do much at the best of times looking at the helicopter watch website and they usually dont find anything when they do go flying waking everyone up.

How much does it cost to run? I read in the Echo that it costs £2 million every year to keep the flying club going!!!
It cost £5 million to buy it in Jan 2012 according to one press article I read.

Is that correct Mr Coppinger? How on earth can you justify that type of money when 270 front line cop jobs are under threat? Dont you keep saying you want to protect front line jobs?

I know some cops who are leaving on a big pension and then walking straight back in the door as civilian contractors on £30 per hour + rates.

How can Cleveland justify this type of spending on old friends?

Wouldnt it be better giving a new younger person a clerical job at Cleveland Police instead of keeping ex force mates happy who are already receiving a very large pension.

How many Ex cops are now employed as contractors at Cleveland Police??

Does anyone know if Mr Coppinger doesnt being a new boss?

Questions, questions, but will Mr Coppinger answer any of them, or hasnt the temporary chief briefed him yet??
Mr Coppinger can save all 270 jobs under threat in one easy move. Sell the white elephant of a helicopter now. It doesnt do much at the best of times looking at the helicopter watch website and they usually dont find anything when they do go flying waking everyone up. How much does it cost to run? I read in the Echo that it costs £2 million every year to keep the flying club going!!! It cost £5 million to buy it in Jan 2012 according to one press article I read. Is that correct Mr Coppinger? How on earth can you justify that type of money when 270 front line cop jobs are under threat? Dont you keep saying you want to protect front line jobs? I know some cops who are leaving on a big pension and then walking straight back in the door as civilian contractors on £30 per hour + rates. How can Cleveland justify this type of spending on old friends? Wouldnt it be better giving a new younger person a clerical job at Cleveland Police instead of keeping ex force mates happy who are already receiving a very large pension. How many Ex cops are now employed as contractors at Cleveland Police?? Does anyone know if Mr Coppinger doesnt being a new boss? Questions, questions, but will Mr Coppinger answer any of them, or hasnt the temporary chief briefed him yet?? Five 0
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree