THE ability of G4S to provide backroom staff to Cambridgeshire police to meet budget cutbacks has been questioned by senior officers.

Simon Parr, Cambridgeshire police chief constable, along with his counterparts in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, sent a report to the three forces’ working group in which they raised concerns about the private security firm’s ability to supply staff.

The Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Joint Working Group is investigating the possibility of adopting Lincolnshire police’s model of using G4S to outsource backroom staff, to plug a £73million shortfall in the three counties’ budgets.

The services, which also include estate and facilities management, business support, records and information management, and procurement, currently cost the three forces £77million a year and employ more than 1,100 people.

The rethink has come after 10,000 soldiers have been drafted into provide security for the Olympic games as G4S admitted they weren’t able to hire the additional people required.

The working group discussed the report in a meeting today and ordered further work to “explore the ability of the contract and contractor to meet the specific needs to the forces”.

If the Lincolnshire police model does not prove suitable, the forces would look for a bespoke commercial provider to deliver the services and the Police and Crime Commissioner will be able to consider the approach after their election in November.