Letter from Peter Neyroud, Chief Constable
of Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police has carried out a Best
Value Review into the way in which we carry out all our custody
functions. Part of that review has covered the use of non-police
officers to perform detention officer functions. Having examined
the issue in some detail we have concluded that the "best
value" option will be to use a private contractor to provide
this service. In coming to that view we have made several visits
to West Mercia Constabulary who have already used private contractors
for over a year.
Upon reading the Bill we were disappointed to
find that while clause 33 makes provision for non-police officers
to carry out the detention officer role it does not appear to
extend that provision to those staff provided under contract.
While this omission will not prevent us from
proceeding with the use of contractors it would appear that Government
are missing an opportunity to support such private public partnership
with statute and the benefits that would run from that.