The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has entered into a contract that establishes a centralised national procurement system for uniforms and equipment.
Police forces across the UK have previously been criticised for paying vastly different prices for similar items, and a report this year by the Home Affairs Committee said it was “astonishing… that forces cannot agree common standards for procurement”.
The National Uniform Managed Service (NUMS), provided by DHL Supply Chain, hopes to centralise the procurement of certain items across forces and create savings through scale efficiencies and supplier consolidation.
However, MPS is currently the only force using the service.
An MPS spokesman said: “The benefits on a national scale will come through the adoption of additional forces or organisations, as well as the standardisation of the new process.”
He added DHL was “perfectly positioned” to deliver the service as they were “vendor neutral, engaging with the appropriate market in a fair and transparent manner”.
Under the seven-year contract, DHL will provide an “end-to-end” service, responsible for designing, procuring and fulfilling orders for uniform and equipment.
Police officers will be able to place orders through a secure e-commerce site “as they would through any other online shopping site”, said DHL.
DHL added it had a dedicated team of specialists to support the design element of the contract, and had already identified areas of improvement in items including body armour and accessories for carrying equipment.
MPS has not said how much the contract is worth, what savings it expects to realise or when other forces might join.
It has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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