Saturday, September 29, 2007

Private sector police force

In a lot of circumstances competition improves the effectiveness of organisations. To be able to compete they must be able to sell things cheaper or give better customer service.

Why is it then that governments have a monopoly on policing? What would be wrong with private companies setting up their own police forces? If the government police force is inadequate why shouldn't citizens be able to use another police force?

My proposal is this; private companies should be able to set up their own police force and be paid for fighting crime.

Here is how I think it would work:

The government police would still get around 10% of their funding the way they do now. The rest they would have to compete for.

Arrests that resulted in a conviction would mean that they would get money for that. Both, the public and the private sector would be paid the same. It would be a small amount but just enough to cover their costs and a bit of profit.

Once the case reached trial level the organisations would get legal aid but it would be low - maybe £50 per hour. This phase would probably not be profitable.

Once a criminal is sentenced they will be sent to prison. If they were arrested by a private company then they will be sent to a prison run by a private company. The private company would get around £100 per day per prisoner that was inside their prison. This would be where they would make the majority of their profit.

There would be nothing stopping these companies forcing prisoners to do hard labour and work for their food which would give more profit to the companies. There would be nothing stopping them from holding these prisoners in foreign countries to make even more profit.

The more criminals who are caught the more profit these companies will get. This will hopefully mean that criminals are caught faster and if companies want to stay in business they will have to become more effective at catching criminals.

They would also be paid more money if the area they operate in suddenly had a decrease in crime. A set amount of money would be available for this and they would be paid according to what percentage of solved crimes that they solved. For example say Yorkshire Blue Police PLC solved 15% of the crimes and 10 million was available. They would receive £1.5 million for a job well done.

The police would also be paid for steakouts and undercover work which resulted in a conviction. The going rate could be £10 per hour per employee on the steakout or undercover work.

Companies would probably only survive if the public relied on them. If they were bad at their job they would not even be contacted which would result in them getting no money. This might result in them not taking up certain difficult cases which they know would be hard to solve.

To negate this, the ‘999’ phone number would be a general number where it is reported to all companies in the area. If the crime remains unsolved then they all receive a ‘bad mark’ where they have a crime listed as unsolved. They will still have it listed as unsolved if another company solves it.

Instead of the 999 number maybe the state police could have 911 instead?

These private could also be used to investigate corrupt police or public officials or investigate when political pressure results in the police dropping a case (BAE Saudi investigation or cash for honours). This would mean that the costs would have to be paid regardless of whether it resulted in a conviction

Any questions, comments or criticisms?

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