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13 July 2012
Unite, Britain's biggest union, welcomes today's decision by West Midlands police to defer its plans to sell-off whole swathes of the force's services, as the union's fight to keep our police public hits its mark.
With Unite police support staff protesting outside today's meeting – and as the G4S Olympic security scandal broke - the West Midlands police authority caved in and voted to delay its shambolic 'Business partnering for police programme' until after the police and crime commissioner elections in November.
Unite police support staff have been fighting off privatisation for months so news that the authority voted to give no extra funding to the project when the money runs out in September was widely applauded.
Gerard Coyne, Unite regional secretary, said: “Unite commends our members for standing up for joined-up policing in the West Midlands, where people - not profit - comes first.
“This will be a welcome relief to the people of the West Midlands who will be pleased that their police authority is at last listening, as well as for members who have been fighting valiantly to highlight the threat to joined-up policing in the West Midlands.
"This proposed sell off is unpopular and it frightens people. We hope that in the pause between now and November's election for a police commissioner, the West Midlands and Surrey authorities see sense and abandon all notions of policing for profit once and for all.”
Unite has been so concerned over the force's failure to tell the public of its plans and to provide robust costings that it launched a public awareness campaign, warning that 'selling-off our police is a crime'.
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.