New Suffolk police supply deal could fund equivalent of 60 officers
A deal has been inked by Suffolk police over its supply chain which could save the force £3million a year – enough to fund 60 police officers.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore on Friday announced the procurement deal Suffolk Constabulary had struck with six other police forces and PCCs to allow them to take advantage of bulk buying discounts.
The partnership will improve the ability to secure the best deals and generate discounts on supplies on everything from squad cars and tasers to uniform and stationery.
Mr Passmore said he was expecting cost savings on procurement of 10% per annum – around £3m – which is the equivalent of funding 60 officers for a year.
“This is potentially an exciting opportunity,” Mr Passmore said, following the Suffolk Police and Crime Panel meeting where he presented the latest updates to representatives from each council.
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“The overall savings we would hope to see is in the region of 5-10%.
“If we are able to save in the region of £3m a year that’s the equivalent of another 60-odd officers.
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“The art of procurement to me is about price, that’s certainly important, but also what we mean by best value, the quality of that and the social and economic impacts of what we are buying.”
Mr Passmore said it would bring long term benefits, and allow police forces that were stretched on resources to secure better deals.
It marks the first major announcement from the seven forces collaboration launched in 2015, completed by Essex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Kent police forces.
Mr Passmore said his office had submitted a consultation response as part of the government’s comprehensive funding review, as part of a bid to secure fairer funding, but warned that there were no guarantees of any immediate change.
“For this year there is no change in position from central government funding, which is a great shame,” he said.
“We need to put the case to government that if we had the funding, this is what we can do.”
It is understood that Suffolk is the second lowest funded force in the country.
Councillor Mike Chester, St Edmundsbury Borough Council representative on the Police and Crime Panel, said the committee should write to MPs lobbying for fairer funding as “a matter of urgency”.