I have written about police outsourcing at the Institute for Government blog here.
One thing I missed out was that I think one of the reasons police chiefs are so eager to outsource is because of entrenched problems in the police workforce. Those in the police service performing administrative and specialist roles who are not warranted officers are undervalued, while warranted officers can still (after decades of ‘civilianisation’) be found in administrative roles for which they have little aptitude or appetite. Is it right to grab for the outsourcing quick-fix to such entrenched issues? I’d be tempted if I were under the budget pressures of police leaders but too much fragmentation in policing, particularly without investment in strong commercial/ contracting management skills, is highly risky.