The decision by West Midlands and Surrey Police in March to invite bids for private companies to take over delivery of critical police services has provoked a strong reaction; Labour Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has said that it raises “very serious concerns”, while the Police Federation describe the plan as “a very dangerous road to take”. A ComRes poll on behalf of UNISON last week has shown that the public too are far from convinced by the plan.
Despite the potential cost savings, we found that more than half of the public (62%) oppose the idea of involving private companies in policing in their local area.
To what extent do you support or oppose allowing private companies to run policing services in your local area?
If some of your local police force’s services were being run by a private company, would you trust your local police force more, less, or would it make no difference to you?
While similar opposition has not prevented growing privatisation in other areas of public service delivery, many will be watching the West Midlands and Surrey Police process closely. Exceeding the public’s low expectations could be critical to maintaining the momentum for change.
ComRes interviewed 2,006 GB adults online from 8th to 10th June 2012. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.