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Cambridgeshire police are reviewing a potential contract with troubled Olympic security provider G4S. The deal on the table would see G4S take over back-office functions inclusing ICT for three forces - Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire - and would result in 1,191 staff being rehired by G4S, according to the Cambridge News.

The police chiefs want to cut £73 million by outsourcing and have been talking to G4S since June - but the Olympic screw-up has forced a rethink:

The Chief Constables of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces have met and discussed at considerable length the current situation regarding the work to develop a full business case for the outsourcing of organisational support services through the Lincolnshire Police contract with G4S.

The ten year contract G4S already have with the Lincolnshire police service, which started in April this year, would form the basis for the new deal: under that scheme everyone except actual police officers is employed by G4S rather than the police service itself. That includes staff working behind counters, in custody centres and suspect identification, in HR, IT and in the criminal justice unit.

Since the Lincolnshire contract took effect in April, there have been several controversies: including one when G4S put its own logo next to the Police one on new uniforms for staff and also over threatened redundancies.

The Surrey police have already pulled out of a deal with the company.

Commenting on the use of G4S in police forces earlier this month, public sector union Unison said:

The problems that G4S has had delivering on the Olympics contract exposes one of the many pitfalls of hiving off services to the private sector. The government may claim that risk is transferred, but in reality it is not. When things go wrong, the public sector has to come to the rescue and the taxpayer ends up paying twice.

We understand that the part of the G4S that runs police services - G4S Care and Justice Services - is separate to the events wing involved with the Olympics - G4S Secure Solutions.

G4S have not replied to our request for comment. ®

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