#019/2013 – HMIC and NAO issue a practical guide to help police forces procure for and manage private sector partnerships

Both the National Audit Office (NAO) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) recognise the continued demands on forces and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to look for new and innovative ways of saving money while improving efficiency. Reports published by both organisations have also highlighted how the police are now increasingly looking to work in partnership with private sector organisations to achieve these aims. But the amount of information available to forces to help them put in place and manage such arrangements has to date been limited. There is thus a risk that police forces may not be reaching the most efficient deal for the public.

The joint practical guide, Private sector partnering in the police service, which is published today, provides advice for PCCs and forces who are considering collaborations with the private sector. The guide is based on experiences of 12 forces, who have already embarked on such partnerships, and informed by our organisations’ expertise in policing, commissioning and private finance.

The guide focuses on three types of partnership – major business partnering, custody partnering, and consultancy support – which HMIC and the NAO consider have the potential to yield savings while supporting business change.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Zoë Billingham, said:

“Reforms and financial challenges over the decades have seen the relationship between the police and the private sector grow. Both HMIC and the NAO acknowledge the demands placed on forces and PCCs to find new ways of saving money while transforming the way they work.

“The forces we visited for this work were some of the ‘first to market’ to try and achieve these aims by entering into partnerships with the private sector. The guide published today is based on their experiences – both good and bad – and informed by our organisations’ wider expertise in policing, commissioning and private finance. We hope it will be of use as all forces and PCCs work to make savings and maintain or improve the service they provide to their communities.”


Notes to editors:

  • A copy of the full report can be found on the HMIC and NAO websites www.hmic.gov.uk and www.nao.gov.uk
  • HMIC inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing bodies such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the British Transport Police and HMRC.
  • The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Amyas Morse, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO, which employs some 867 staff. The C&AG certifies the accounts of all government departments and many other public sector bodies. He has statutory authority to examine and report to Parliament on whether departments and the bodies they fund have used their resources efficiently, effectively, and with economy. Our studies evaluate the value for money of public spending, nationally and locally. Our recommendations and reports on good practice help government improve public services, and our work led to audited savings of almost £1.2 billion in 2012.
  • For more information please see /about-us/ HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.