Police chief blasts buying schemes

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The chief constable of Thames Valley Police has blasted the Government for wasting money by failing to maximise the potential of joint procurement schemes.

In an article in the Guardian, Sara Thornton blamed ‘the structure of police organisations and the policy adopted by the Home Office’ for missing opportunities to make police procurement more effective.

She wrote: “In 2012 all forces were mandated to buy body armour via the Metropolitan Police framework contract. It was a tough job persuading my operational officers that a stab proof vest which offered less protection than the one they currently wore was a better choice — and it was no cheaper.”

But she praised framework contracts where one Force procures on behalf of others, saying one such scheme in Thames Valley will save half a million pounds a year.

“I would always prefer to save money by reducing my expenditure on equipment rather than jobs,” she wrote.

“We are saving money through better, joint procurement and I am confident we will save more money in the future.”