Indian call centres may soon answer calls to Brit police stations

November 14th, 2007 - 1:50 am ICT by admin  
According to the Daily Mail, the government has been forced to relax the rules to allow forces to sign contracts with private companies, including foreign firms, as there is a massive cash shortage.

This will allow police to use Indian call centres to deal with routine inquiries.

In the current set up, all civilian support staff are employed by individual police authorities. But over the next year, about 20,000 civilians will be transferred to private companies with some jobs likely to go overseas.

Meanwhile, unions have expressed concerns over the privatisation decision.

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

However, police feel the plan will deliver “tangible benefits” freeing up much needed resources to fight crime.

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

US computer giant IBM is likely to be the first private company to secure a deal, as it has already signed a landmark 400-million-pound contract with local councils in Avon and Somerset. It is also bidding to take over IT and finance for the regional police force.

Besides IBM, British firms BT and Capita are also in the running for over 200 contracts with the UK police forces.

The 999 service will remain unaffected despite the changes. (ANI)

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