Lincolnshire 999 call answer times improve in first year of G4S partnership

G4S-LogoG4S claims it is ‘ahead of track’ in improving emergency call-handling times and delivering greater value for money through its strategic partnership with Lincolnshire Police.

The private security company took over back-office functions for the force a year ago, with 550 civilian staff, some two-thirds of the total, transferred to G4S on April 1 2012 at the start of a 10-year contract.

G4S measured the response rates from the year before they took control and the subsequent year. It found that 89% of 999 calls were handed within the target time of 10 seconds in April 2011-12 and the annual total increased to 93% for April 2012-13.

The firm also stated it has saved Lincolnshire Police £3.7 million during the year, higher than the £2.8 million it had initially forecast.

A G4S spokesperson said the company is “playing a very important support function” and has also been set “very strict key performance indicators” they are expected to meet. Failure to do so will result in financial penalties.

They said: “Our aim, and the aim of the strategic partnership, is to help Lincolnshire Police to maintain and where possible improve on the services it provides to the public while delivering them a greater value for money.

“Lincolnshire had quite a challenging financial situation. It had savings that it needed to make due to the comprehensive spending review and our commitment over the life of the contract with them is to guarantee them savings of £28 million.”

The spokesperson revealed that G4S is set to publish an annual report analysing the first year of the partnership, which will be made available to other forces so they can learn from the experiences in Lincolnshire over the last 12 months.

They added: “The contract has only been going for a year but the signs from this year are extremely encouraging and we are always keen to discuss with other forces to see how we might be able to help them.”

Plans for police support services in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire to be outsourced to G4S collapsed in January after police commissioners deemed the contract as not suitable.

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