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  1. Post
    #1
    Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country.
    Link

    Personally I find any talk/action towards privatisation of the police or penitentiary services really worrying.

    Will expand on the above shortly.

  2. Post
    #2
    Yer, that's ****ed.

    I think that even most libertarians, or libertarian leaning people (that I have spoken to anyway) think that the police (as well as courts and military) should be out of private control.

  3. Post
    #3
    Business are private.
    State services are public.
    Thats how it should be, sure there will be circumstances where thats not so but on the whole.

  4. Post
    #4
    The police should answer to the public, not shareholders.

  5. Post
    #5
    Wow.

  6. Post
    #6
    In some respects it is an extension of the NZ use of non-sworn officers. Here we acknowledge that there are parts of the job that do not require actual police, so we our police employs people in a non-sworn capacity. There are limits on what they can do, but I also I imagine that there are real cost savings associated with it.

    The UK appears to be taking that, admittably alot, further. The article notes that the list of services is broad but many will not actually be outsourced so it will be interesting to see what the final picture looks like. In some parts of the job it may work, others would be a disaster. At least no powers of arrest are being included in the proposal.

    Will be interesting to see what the outcome is.

  7. Post
    #7
    Welcome to the future (as foretold in dozens of sci-fi movies).

    They are so much more efficient at managing people and outcomes (so they say), but at a profit. Who will end up paying more for it, us the lowly consumer. To those people who love things, money, business and growth, this is the last economic bastion - Government services.

    One day it will be "Hello. Please note this call will cost $$ plus $x per minute. What is the nature of your emergency ?"

  8. Post
    #8
    Cynic wrote:
    In some respects it is an extension of the NZ use of non-sworn officers. Here we acknowledge that there are parts of the job that do not require actual police, so we our police employs people in a non-sworn capacity. There are limits on what they can do, but I also I imagine that there are real cost savings associated with it.

    The UK appears to be taking that, admittably alot, further. The article notes that the list of services is broad but many will not actually be outsourced so it will be interesting to see what the final picture looks like. In some parts of the job it may work, others would be a disaster. At least no powers of arrest are being included in the proposal.

    Will be interesting to see what the outcome is.
    I could be wrong but the non-sworn officers are still employed by the NZ Police rather than a third party? I have no problem with that. But the scope of what services could be privatised was what got me pretty nervous.

    I think public services like the police and fire brigade should be cost effective and efficient but should never be run for profit.

  9. Post
    #9
    Cynic wrote:
    In some respects it is an extension of the NZ use of non-sworn officers. Here we acknowledge that there are parts of the job that do not require actual police, so we our police employs people in a non-sworn capacity. There are limits on what they can do, but I also I imagine that there are real cost savings associated with it.
    Hmm, not sure what the rationale is. My Mum's non-sworn, and she makes more than a lot of Police officers. But yeah, the key point being that non-sworns are still answerable to the Police.

  10. Post
    #10
    Schumn wrote:
    I could be wrong but the non-sworn officers are still employed by the NZ Police rather than a third party? I have no problem with that. But the scope of what services could be privatised was what got me pretty nervous.

    I think public services like the police and fire brigade should be cost effective and efficient but should never be run for profit.
    Hah, the NZ Fire Service is so unprofitable that it would keel over and die if there were no volunteer firefighters.

  11. Post
    #11
    ^which is fine. Because just like the police they are essential service and $$$ (within reason) shouldn't be an issue.

  12. Post
    #12
    100% against this. Their interest won't be in the community or people, or rehabilitation of the 'criminals', it will be in making a profit.

  13. Post
    #13
    Edward Diego wrote:
    Hah, the NZ Fire Service is so unprofitable that it would keel over and die if there were no volunteer firefighters.
    Cause and effect. Do people volunteer because the NZ Fire Service badly funded or is it badly funded because it is known that people will volunteer?

  14. Post
    #14
    Schumn wrote:
    I could be wrong but the non-sworn officers are still employed by the NZ Police rather than a third party? I have no problem with that. But the scope of what services could be privatised was what got me pretty nervous.

    I think public services like the police and fire brigade should be cost effective and efficient but should never be run for profit.
    All I am saying is that this seems like an extension of the NZ scenario where we have acknowledged that you do not need a sworn and fully trained police officer in some roles. If you accept that you do not need a proper cop to do somethings, it seems almost inevitable that at some point it will get outsourced. You and ED are both right however, in NZ the non-sworns are still accountable to the police service. Which is not to say that a private organisation contracted to say provide a presence in the CBD at night would have no oversight and accountability, just a different line of accountability.

    In some respects, and you might not agree with me, it is almost like the development of private hospitals as we have them in NZ. Admittably, for every private hospital there are public alternatives, but we have seen a move towards the contracting of services to private hospitals for public health care patients.

    I am ambivalent towards the move at this stage. I could see how in some of the more marginal functions of the police you would have few negatives and more benefits, assuming it was set up properly. However, I can also see it going wrong in other respects if there was not good accountability systems or if the private contractors were improperly incentivized. For me the devil will be in the details, what gets outsourced, how the outsourcing is done and what the lines of control are.

  15. Post
    #15
    I wonder if PMC's will occupy these new positions, once they're kicked out of the middle east.

  16. Post
    #16
    refused wrote:
    I wonder if PMC's will occupy these new positions, once they're kicked out of the middle east.
    Wouldn't have thought these contracts profitable enough to justify PMC involvement.

  17. Post
    #17
    The thing I worry about is this is obviously a cost based decision, rather than a manpower / resources based one. While this prvate forces would not have the power to make arrests, interview or charge suspects with offenses, the scope of their role is still quite large.

    fromthearticle wrote:
    The breathtaking list of policing activities up for grabs includes investigating crimes, detaining suspects, developing cases, responding to and investigating incidents, supporting victims and witnesses, managing high-risk individuals, patrolling neighbourhoods, managing intelligence, managing engagement with the public, as well as more traditional back-office functions, such as managing forensics, providing legal services, managing the vehicle fleet, finance and human resources.
    So if they're going to save money by privatising these duties to security firms, the supposition I'm making is that it will be cheaper for them as the security staff will be paid less. The less someone is remunerated the more tempting graft and corruption become. The idea of a bunch of rent-a-cops with enough power to make your life hell unless you play their game is worrying.

  18. Post
    #18
    refused wrote:
    I wonder if PMC's will occupy these new positions, once they're kicked out of the middle east.
    PMC/PSCs have contracts around the globe not just in the middle east. The largest of which happens to be an English company with staff running jobs mall cop through to more specialised roles that you might be thinking of and beyond. They already do airports, prisons etc I think you'd be surprised at the scope of of their activities and their size.

    As to being kicked out of the middle east...unlikely at least in the short/medium term despite the posturing, the ANA haven't a chance of holding the green zone alone when the U.S. leaves, and plenty of work in Kuwait etc.

  19. Post
    #19
    TD wrote:
    Cause and effect. Do people volunteer because the NZ Fire Service badly funded or is it badly funded because it is known that people will volunteer?
    I think they volunteer for a) the sense of community and b) if they don't do it, then there'll be no fire service in their area. I mean, the NZFS still covers the facilities, equipment, fire engines and training, but at the end of the day, they couldn't afford to replace volunteers with paid staff simply due to the sporadic call-outs. And as the NZFS is funded via an insurance levy, imagine the uproar if the full cost had to be funded.

    But yeah, the majority of fire and ambulance employees in NZ are volunteers.

  20. Post
    #20
    phred wrote:
    The thing I worry about is this is obviously a cost based decision, rather than a manpower / resources based one. While this prvate forces would not have the power to make arrests, interview or charge suspects with offenses, the scope of their role is still quite large.



    So if they're going to save money by privatising these duties to security firms, the supposition I'm making is that it will be cheaper for them as the security staff will be paid less. The less someone is remunerated the more tempting graft and corruption become. The idea of a bunch of rent-a-cops with enough power to make your life hell unless you play their game is worrying.
    They state in the article that they wanted the list to be as broad as possible so that if something was later suggested they didn't have to go through an expensive later tender process. Also, while the list is large, is only covers possibilities, not everything will be farmed out everywhere.

    As to the saving money, I guess part of that will be training costs but also organisational efficiencies. At heart business has to run at a profit and few organisations are price makers, inherently private companies need to be as efficient as possible. That doesn't always work out as it should, but at heart that is the way it should go. Public sector organisations however have traditionally not had the same efficiency pressures, and sure as hell not in the UK based on the horror stories I have heard from friends over there. They could be assuming that private companies will save money through bueracracy savings and better business models. Whether it plays out that way remains to be seen.

  21. Post
    #21
    mafro wrote:
    100% against this. Their interest won't be in the community or people, or rehabilitation of the 'criminals', it will be in making a profit.
    Profit is freedom.

  22. Post
    #22
    Or in this case, Freedom is someones profit.

  23. Post
    #23
    If a government is going to pay the same amount for a privatised police force as it would otherwise, then somewhere along the line, somebody is going to get screwed so that someone else can make a buck.

    The mere fact that we need a police force says something about human nature. The fact that privatisation is being considered anywhere would suggest we aren't listening to what is being said.

  24. Post
    #24
    Rememebr the cost of provisioning the service is most likely going to be less in the private sector. After working with a number of government ministries this last year its scary to see how inefficient they are. Even if the private police force are making a sweet profit, if they can be more efficient in things like back office functions then why couldn't they provide the same level of service? If its a tender process with relatively short term contracts the competition should reduce the profit levels too?

  25. Post
    #25
    Zeon wrote:
    After working with a number of government ministries this last year its scary to see how inefficient some of them are.
    I fixed your post.

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