Police to save millions through better buying

2 December 2009

2 December 2009 | Allie Anderson

Forces in England and Wales will be expected to make savings of around £500 million every year over the next five years, largely from better procurement.

The plans are to be outlined in a white paper, Protecting the Public: Supporting the Police to Succeed today. It is expected to say that savings of up to £545 million a year could be achieved by 2014.

Most of these could come from forces collaborating to buy computer systems, uniforms and vehicles. Such equipment is also set to be standardised to bring the different purchasing methods currently used into line under a national procurement framework.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, home secretary Alan Johnson said: “There are a number of opportunities, in procurement in particular, where substantial savings can be made.

“Police are always finding new ways to save money. We’ve got projects going at the moment where police forces are collaborating to find ways to jointly procure whether that’s on uniforms, cars, air support services. With 43 separate police forces in the country, there are always those opportunities to do more.”

The paper will also reportedly suggest that police forces cut by over a quarter the estimated £480 million spent on overtime every year. According to a report in the Times today, the draft paper states that in the next six months, the government will save £70 million on police overtime and £75 million by improving back office services.

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