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PCC signs procurement deal which could save Bedfordshire Police more than 1 million

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has signed up to a regional procurement deal which could potentially save the force more than £1 million a year.

The partnership between Bedfordshire and the other six forces and PCCs in the region was signed on Friday (15 March) and will allow them to take advantage of bulk buying discounts – on everything from police vehicles to uniform and stationery.

Commissioner Holloway said: “Every shopper knows that the more you buy the more you can save if you look for good offers and that principle holds equally good for policing, whether we’re buying uniforms or patrol cars. While the seven forces of the East, including Bedfordshire, are very different in the crime challenges they face from the northernmost tip of Norfolk to the south of Kent, we still have to buy many of the same products.

“The real benefit of this absolutely ground-breaking deal is that it will focus on the greatest savings from the largest contracts. It also allows us to meet the requirements the Government has set as a condition by way of improving efficiencies before it looks again at the funding formula for all police forces in the next Spending Review at the end of 2020.

“This is of absolutely critical importance to Bedfordshire as the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, has repeatedly promised that he will rebalance and correct the chronic underfunding of the Force, in relation to the severity and complexity of its crime challenges, in this critical review.”

The agreement is the first major announcement from the seven force collaboration which comprises Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent.

It is the latest funding boost secured by Commissioner Holloway and follows her announcement last week that the number of PCs in community policing across Bedfordshire will be doubled. The additional officers, which will include a new trouble shooting team to stamp out key crime issues, are among the 160 due to be recruited in 2019/20 after the PCC helped secure an increase of £2 per month on the council tax precept.

The PCC has also approved a longer term plan to recruit a further 120 PCs next year and between 110 and 120 in the year after that, in 2021-22.