Fears over G4S replacing Warwickshire police officers

By Laura Maltby 16/08 Updated: 17/08 09:49

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REPORTS controversially suggesting G4S are recruiting staff to carry out roles normally performed by police officers in Warwickshire

have been criticised by Labour's candidate for Warwickshire Police Commissioner.

G4S are advertising for civilian investigators to work in Leamington, Rugby and Nuneaton, in long-term contracts with 'no specified end date.'

Potential duties would include taking evidential statements from victims and witnesses, undertaking sensitive high profile case enquiries and having specialist knowledge on all aspects of crime investigation.

And James Plaskitt, Labour candidate for the commissioner role, said: “I think the discovery that G4S are recruiting staff to do what clearly sound like police jobs suggests we have lost too many officers in Warwickshire as a result of government-imposed cuts, and now the force is turning to G4S to plug the gaps.

“If we need people to work on ‘sensitive high profile cases’ I would rather have the reassurance that these are fully integrated police officers, not staff answerable to G4S."

A spokeswoman for Warwickshire Police confirmed they would be employing additional staff to meet operational needs.

She said: "The requirements of the work we are currently recruiting for requires specialist investigative skills, but does not require the full warranted powers of a police officer.

"Staff employed on a temporary basis are contracted to Warwickshire Police and will be vetted by the force in respect of their suitability and will be answerable to the force in respect of their work."

She explained the first quarter of this year (April - June) had seen a seven per cent reduction in crime and Warwickshire Police were recruiting more staff to continue their focus on criminals who commit acquisitive crimes such as house burglary, car crime and robbery.

Tory candidate for Warwickshire Police Commissioner, Fraser Pithie, responded positively to the reports.

He said: “I am pleased that Warwickshire is focusing on cutting crime and using efficient and effective means to do so. It makes good sense that Warwickshire are seeking to recruit specialist investigators who do not need the full powers of a warranted police officer.

"If, by using a flexible approach and temporarily employing investigative staff, Warwickshire Police can reduce crime even further than the seven per cent reduction so far this year then they have my support and I am sure that of the vast majority of people in Warwickshire.”

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