The UK's latest terrifying trend, Private Policing.
There has been a recent news story that the West Midlands and Surrey police forces in the UK have invited for bids from companies on behalf of all the forces. The proposals for bids could effectively be given powers of investigation and arrest under this proposal.
I fundamentally and vehemently disagree with this premise. I will now begin to explain why.
Let us look at the effect privatisation has on security and defence in general. Many of you could argue that I am cherry picking the worst examples, but they are also the most obvious and damning examples of the deleterious effects of the private sector interfacing with the public sector and the profit motive being less than honest with us.
1) Private prisons.
Reported by the Arizona Republic, private prisons in the state so far cost more on a per-prisoner basis than do publically run prisons. Some experts contend that firms in the prison business reap profits by billing government for far more than their initial lowball projections while cutting corners in ways that may make prisons less secure.
2) Private Police.From an economic point of view, we should expect firms that compete for and rely on government contracts, such as weapons manufacturers and prison operators, to maximise the spread between the amount billed and the actual cost of delivering the service. If contractors can get away with providing less value for money than would the government-run alternative, they will. Moreover, contractors have every incentive to make themselves seem necessary. It is well-known that public prison employee unions constitute a powerful constituency for tough sentencing policies that lead to larger prison populations requiring additional prisons and personnel. The great hazard of contracting out incarceration "services" is that private firms may well turn out to be even more efficient and effective than unions in lobbying for policies that would increase prison populations.
Historically the Americas used Private policing forces quite significantly until the LaFollette Civili Liberties Committee. I admit that they failed in actually attempting any real change by regulatory methods but what was uncovered by the committee and then reported on by the press enraged the public to such a degree that they soon after disappeared from Private policing duties soon after.
To quote the report:3) Private Militaries."Such a spy system . . . places the employer in the very heart of the union council from the outset of any organizing effort. News of organizers coming into a town, contacts the organizers make among his employees, the names of employees who join the union, all organization plans, all activities of the union—these are as readily available to the employer as though he himself were running the union".
Well we all know how well the mercs have played out don't we? Also let us not forget Boeing, BAe et al. Yes, exactly.
Frankly I see the idea in the UK to privatise police duties or more specifically contract out to such a degree to be worrying and ignoring of all historical evidence that to do such things is an unmitigated disaster.
A friend who works in the home office had this gem to share with me
They also want to privitize immigration casework, Serco have offered to do it free for 6 months. Serco actually did 6 months of backlog casework last year. They made a fucking mess of it, so thats probably why they are offering it free for 6 months. Serco staff were caught having sex in the toilets, two of them had a fight in the lobby of the building and we had to use all of our own staff to check their work. It was hilariously bad.
Also, even it if costs more they will go for it. Its all about headcount not cost. The headcount thing is the worst. Its just a drive to get staff numbers down, damn the ability of the departments to actually do the work they are tasked with and who cares about how much it costs both in the short term and the long term. Making civil servants redundant isnt cheap, even after they butchered the terms. The new IBM caseworking system is already 2 years behind schedule and missing half of the features it was supposed to have that would have meant less people could do more