Take the pledge!
Anti-privatisation campaigners have called on the candidates standing for election for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner to pledge not to privatise any policing service if elected. West Midlands against Policing for Profit will launch the pledge at a public meeting to be held on Thursday at Birmingham Council House.
All the current candidates including Bob Jones for Labour and Matt Bennett for the Conservatives have declared themselves opposed to the current Business Partnering for Profit programme. The Business Partnering for Profit contract offered a lucrative potential contract of £1.5bn to private companies to provide policing services including Custody and Forensic services.
The Campaign wants a clear commitment from the PCC candidates that they will oppose all future privatisation of policing services and will be asking them to sign a pledge. The two part pledge reads:
‘1. If elected all Policing services will remain publically provided and retained ‘in-house’ within West Midlands Police Force.
2.West Midlands Police Force will not contract with companies proven to have committed human rights abuses.’
The public meeting has been called by Birmingham Trades Union Council and will include speakers from the UNISON and UNITE representing the Police staff affected and human rights campaigners including those concerned about the treatment of asylum seekers by private security companies.
A spokesperson for West Midlands against Policing for Profit stated:
We welcome the commitment of the candidates to stop the BPP programme. Some of the shortlisted Private companies have a poor track record in their treatment of vulnerable people in their care and custody. The loss of accountability through the privatisation of policing services has major implications for civil and human rights.
We want the PCC candidates to declare their position in regards to any privatisation not just the Business Partnering Programme and will accordingly ask them to sign the ‘No Privatisation’ pledge. Policing isn’t for profit , it’s a core function of the State and there is no room for the shareholder in that equation.
Details of the Public Meeting
The public meeting will take place on Thursday 27th September at 7pm at Birmingham Council House in Committee Rooms 3 and 4. The speakers include Jill Harrison on behalf of UNISON West Midlands Police Staff Branch, a speaker from UNITE, Dave Stamp from Asirt and Gargi Bhattacharyya for West Midlands against Policing for Profit.