Public opposes privatising police work

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The public would be less likely to report a crime if a private firm was in charge of their personal data, a survey suggests.

The poll of more than 1,200 people in the West Midlands showed the extent of public unease over a proposed £1.5bn police privatisation scheme, the Unite union said.

The West Midlands and Surrey forces delayed the process to bring private firms further into policing “to allow engagement with the market, public consultation and to allow both forces to contribute to a safe and secure Olympics”.

But the West Midlands force insisted it remained “committed to exploring with the private sector the potential to transform policing and to improve services to the public”.

Three in five of more than 1,200 people questioned in the West Midlands would be less likely to report a crime if personal information was accessed by a third party.

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