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11 July 2012
Unite, Britain's biggest union, will be protesting outside West Midlands police headquarters tomorrow to warn that 'selling off our police is a crime', as the sell-off of West Midlands police moves a step closer.
WHEN: from 10am, Thursday, 12 July 2012
WHERE: Outside the public meeting of the West Midlands Police Authority, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6AT.
Unite is so concerned over the force's failure to tell the public of its plans and to provide robust costings that it has launched a public awareness campaign, warning that 'selling off our police is a crime'.
A mobile ad van has been driving throughout Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton since Tuesday (see notes to editors for a timetable). It will stop outside West Midlands police headquarters tomorrow at 10am as members of the police authority meet to decide whether to break-up and sell-off core police functions.
Plans to privatise West Midlands police were put on hold back in May 2012, but a promise to provide a proper business case and conduct a proper and open consultation has failed to materialise.
The documents published on 5 July and purporting to be the police authority's 'Strategic Business Case' are woefully inadequate – there are no figures, no footnotes and no evidence to back-up the claims, says Unite.
Gerard Coyne, Unite regional secretary, said: “West Midlands police chief constable Chris Sims ought to be ashamed. Their so-called business case is a sham and the force's failure to tell the public is a dereliction of duty. The people of the West Midlands deserve better.
“Unite says that selling off West Midlands police services to private companies is a crime. We will continue to campaign to get these shocking plans dropped.
“The people of the West Midlands have not even been consulted, but it's clear from our poll the majority oppose plans to sell-off the service. Privatisation has nothing to do with making our streets safer, it's about putting profits before people - plain and simple.”
Under guidance from the Home Office, both the West Midlands and Surrey police have advertised contracts worth £1.5 billion to private companies to run policing services in both forces.