Why security staff could soon be guarding police crime scenes

Why security staff could soon be guarding police crime scenes

Private security staff are set to guard crime scenes in the West Midlands under an initiative designed to free up police officers for catching criminals.

With more than 2,000 police officers cut since 2010 and further cuts ahead police bosses believe having them standing by sealed off crime scenes for hours on end is a waste of resources.

They are also looking to cut the amount of time constables spend guarding prisoners and suspects in hospital.



Constables guard streets and locations where violent crime and murders have taken place to prevent contamination or removal of evidence, or prevent forensics teams being interrupted by passers-by.

Bosses say this is a job which could be done easily by cheaper security guards.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I am supportive of measures which save money and most importantly ensure we are using our officers to the fullest of their abilities.



“Warranted officer guarding scenes for hours on end is not always a sensible use of resource, when more appropriate, cost effective roles can carry out the task.

“I want there to be as many warranted officers out pro-actively tackling crime in the West Midlands as possible.

“Freeing up some warranted officers from scene guarding duties is one way of doing that.”

The Police and Crime Commissioners Strategic Board was told by Chief Constable Dave Thompson that a pilot of private security guards would begin in February 2018.

Mr Thompson said: “Our officer numbers are set to drop by about 200 over the next few years. We are looking to make the best use of the officers we have.”

He said that digital and mobile technology could improve the productivity of officers.

And that already an upgrade to the medical care available at the force’s custody blocks had reduced the need to send suspects under guard to hospital, again saving valuable police officer time.

The Board was supportive of measures to free up officers for crime fighting duties.

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