Calls to Brit cops could soon be answered by Indian call centres

November 14th, 2007 - 1:51 am ICT by admin  
Owing to a massive cash deficiency, the British government has been forced to relax the rules to permit forces to sign contracts with private companies, including foreign firms.

Up to 20,000 backroom jobs in forces across the UK could be transferred to private firms in the next year, with some possibly moving overseas.

Civilian staff is currently employed by individual police authorities, but forces will now be allowed to outsource to private companies.

It means they will be able to use low-cost call centres in India to deal with the thousands of routine inquiries police receive every day.

US computer firm IBM is expecting a decision by Avon and Somerset Police to take over the force’s backroom functions, following the company’s landmark 400million pounds deal to take over the same role at two local councils.

IBM is bidding to take over information technology and finance roles for the force, including answering phone calls from the public.

“By joining this partnership we may be able to divert money back to the front line. We broadly welcome that,” the Daily Mail quoted Paul Green, chairman of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, as saying.

However, unions have expressed concerns about the plan, insisting that jobs may be lost in the upheaval.

“We are against privatisation of services from the public sector,” said Unison’s Lisa Youlton.

“We have no information on how it would actually work, how it would be set up, whether staff would be transferred or seconded to the new company or whether there will be any job guarantees,” she added.

But, a police spokesman said the move would “deliver tangible benefits to the communities we serve”. (ANI)

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