Journal Article

Workforce Modernization in Police Detention Suites: The Dilemmas of Outsourcing in Public Services

Geoff Heath, Rob C. Mawby and Lynne Walley

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 1, pages 59-65
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pan070
Workforce Modernization in Police Detention Suites: The Dilemmas of Outsourcing in Public Services

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This article draws upon our experience of evaluating a project funded by the Home Office's workforce modernization programme, which concerned the outsourcing of the detention officer role in an English police force. The efficiency and effectiveness of the project were established, but questions about accountability, equity and sustainability were also raised. These findings complement the literature on outsourcing in the public sector. Studies suggest that the issues associated with the application of outsourcing include the extent to which cost savings are achieved, the causes of such savings and the implications of this for quality and equity. Outsourcing may be seen as a relatively unproblematic way of increasing efficiency in the public sector from some theoretical perspectives, but that is disputed. Our work contributes to the debate by presenting further evidence that, while outsourcing can produce significant savings, this is neither straightforward to achieve nor without awkward side effects.

Journal Article.  3549 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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