Police could use private firms
By The Bristol Post | Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 05:00
A PRIVATE firm might be used in the future to run some parts of the police force in Avon and Somerset.
They would include custody suites, prisoner transport and identification services.
Police commissioner Sue Mountstevens has yet to make a final decision but if she approves, then these services could be privatised from next April.
Chief Constable Nick Gargan said the changes could save "several hundreds of thousands of pounds" a year.
He told the BBC: "We're asking the private sector to come in and impress us.
"I want to keep some of my numbers close to my chest. I've got a figure in mind which is several hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
"This should be a very competitive process. We want to drive a hard bargain."
A report says those running the police custody suites would be better trained and would offer a better quality service than the current in-house service.
In Avon and Somerset, 10 custody suites in the force area are set to be replaced with three suites under the Private Finance Initiative.
They will be based at Patchway, Keynsham and Bridgwater.