G4S banned from policing the public

Tim Ross, The Telegraph |

Voters will elect the first police and crime commissioners in England and Wales in November, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, will say today.

Successful Labour candidates will immediately block moves towards privatising policing, the party said.

If Labour wins the next election, the party will consider legislating to ensure that no police force can outsource neighbourhood patrols or detective work.

The policy follows the failure of the security company G4S to supply enough guards to protect the Olympics, resulting in troops being drafted in to guard the Games.

G4S is providing security for the Labour conference but the party fears that forces such as West Midlands Police will allow private security guards to conduct patrols while ministers are encouraging the use of private companies.

Ms Cooper will tell the conference that Labour are the true inheritors of community policing legacy left by the 19th century Conservative prime minister, Robert Peel.

She will promise to abide by the “Peelian principles” of policing with the consent of the community. “Public—private partnerships can be really important for the police, especially on things like new technology, and the police will need new contracts,” Ms Cooper is expected to say.

“But policing by consent means the police need the confidence of the public.

“We don’t want private companies patrolling the public streets of Britain.” She will propose that four “tough tests” must be applied to any private contract for police work.

These would be to ensure that any deal represents value for money, ensures security, is transparent and accountable, and fosters public trust in the service.