- Published: Friday, 18 May 2012 12:00
- Written by Jonathan Walker
West Midlands Police may have delayed plans to agree a "business partnership" with the private sector - what critics called privatisation - but it certainly hasn't abandoned them.
Trade Union Unite has issued a statement welcoming the delay, saying: "Police privatisation is on hold but it's absolutely crucial that those who care about public services keep up the pressure to kill off these plans for good."
But Chris Sims, the force's chief constable, has sent a paper to West Midlands Police Authority making it clear that he intends to carry on with the proposals, that the force has already appointed no fewer than three firms as consultants to help it work on the plans, and that it still expects to spend £1.5 million on the procurement process alone - down from the original estimated cost of £2 million.
West Midlands Police has also launched a publicity drive on its website, designed to reassure the public that police forces will not be "privatised" our outsourced.