Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


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.

Peter Neyroud

February 2002

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