‘Future is bleak without private sector partnership’

Chief Constable Richard Crompton will retire on March 31, 2012.
Chief Constable Richard Crompton will retire on March 31, 2012.
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AS the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police announced his retirement this week, he gave his views on one of the most significant changes to policing in recent years.

From April, private security firm G4S will be working with the force to deliver a number of services, a move which is the first of its kind.

Some see such partnerships with private firms as privatisation by stealth by the Government, but Chief Constable Richard Crompton, 53, told the Journal he is “very excited” about it.

He said: “It’s a massive contract we’ve been working on for a long time.

“We looked at a range of options with the police authority and this was the most viable option.

“If we hadn’t done it, I know we would’ve now been contemplating a very bleak future with far more job losses than in the last 12 months.”

The decision to venture into the partnership with G4S was made by Lincolnshire Police Authority. The £200 million contract is expected to save the authority £28 million over its 10-year period, which is important as the Government heaps pressure on forces across the country to make massive savings.

As this partnership grows, Ch Cons Crompton will be watching its progress.

He said: “I think the partnership will bring something new to operations in Lincolnshire.

“I will look on now from a distance with great interest. I believe it will be a great success.”

Asked if he sees the private sector filtering more into public services as a whole, Ch Cons Crompton replied: “Frankly, yes, I do. My personal view is it’s not just policing, all public services are facing similar challenges and I don’t think we will get to the end of the Comprehensive Spending Review and magically our previous level of funding will be reinstated.

“If they are going to meet the challenge of maintaining a level of service with considerably less money, they have to look at new ways of working.”

Ch Cons Crompton will retire on March 31, after four years in the role and a long career in policing.

He joined the Metropolitan police force in 1976, going on to work in Devon and Cornwall for 18 years and Cumbria for four years before arriving in Lincolnshire as deputy chief constable in August 2004.

Having worked for many years in Devon and Cornwall, the south-west is where his “heart lies” and he and his wife plan to return there to live later this year.

He said: “I will miss it. It’s true to say the thing I will miss most is the people here and what I’ll also miss is the sense of humour we share in the force.”