England

Chief constables want to abandon G4S scheme

Three chief constables are to recommend abandoning outsourcing work to G4S after the firm failed to provide enough security staff for the Olympics.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces had hoped the plan would help plug a £73m funding gap.

In June, the forces were given the go-ahead to investigate outsourcing "backroom" services to G4S.

However the BBC understands the chief constables agreed the plan should be dropped at a meeting on Thursday.

Jim Paice, the agriculture minister and Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire, said: "Obviously after the recent furore over G4S and the Olympics security everybody would be very concerned about their ability to deliver on contract.

'Total support'

"I don't know the detail of this but if the chief constables, all of them, have agreed there are big question marks, then of course it's right for them to refer it back to the police authority.

"If the answer is start again and reconsider what to do about the backroom costs then I totally support them in that."

Earlier this month G4S admitted it would fall short on the number of security guards provided for the Olympics, with 3,500 extra troops now being deployed to help make up the shortfall.

G4S has not commented on the three police force's intentions, but John Shaw, of the firm's policing support services division, said previously it had been "reliably supporting police forces for more than 20 years".

He added: "Our policing support division is entirely separate to our global events business, which has managed the Olympics contract. It has its own dedicated resources with more than 1,000 staff."

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