Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has signed a deal which could save the force more than £1 million a year by bulk buying everything from stationery to vehicles with six other forces.
Commissioner Holloway says the deal, signed last Friday, is common sense: “Every shopper knows that the more you buy the more you can save if you look for good offers and that principle holds equally good for policing, whether we’re buying uniforms or patrol cars.
“While the seven forces of the East, including Bedfordshire, are very different in the crime challenges they face from the northernmost tip of Norfolk to the south of Kent, we still have to buy many of the same products.
“The real benefit of this absolutely ground-breaking deal is that it will focus on the greatest savings from the largest contracts.”
The agreement is the first major announcement from the seven force collaboration which includes Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent and also has further benefits, above the financial savings.
“It also allows us to meet the requirements the Government has set as a condition by way of improving efficiencies,” adds Commissioner Holloway, “before it looks again at the funding formula for all police forces in the next Spending Review at the end of 2020.
“This is of absolutely critical importance to Bedfordshire as the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, has repeatedly promised that he will rebalance and correct the chronic underfunding of the Force, in relation to the severity and complexity of its crime challenges, in this critical review.”
The news follows Commissioner Holloway’s announcement last week that we’ll see double the number of PCs in community policing across Bedfordshire.
These officers include a new trouble shooting team focussing on key crime issues, which are due to be recruited in 2019/20 and are being paid for by an £2 per month increase in the council tax precept.
A plan to recruit a further 120 PCs next year and between 110 and 120 in the year after that, in 2021-22 has also been approved.