Fleet News

'Huge interest' in police outsourcing claims Venson boss

THE group chairman of specialist fleet management company Venson Group has claimed that the firm has received a number of enquiries from police forces interested in examining the potential to outsource their fleets.

As Venson gears up to take over the running of Nottinghamshire Police in a controversial 25-year £100 million deal, group chairman Grant Scriven said: 'It's floodgate stuff. We've had a number of police forces getting in contact with us to look at the possibilities, both in the UK and internationally.'

Peter Ward, chairman of the Association of Police Fleet Managers, responded: 'What individual police constabularies do is their prerogative. They have to look at best value and put it to market test, but Her Majesty's Inspectorate already asks tough questions about cost effectiveness and best practice.'

On November 1, Venson officially takes over all acquisition, delivery and collection of vehicles, maintenance and management. Venson has recruited 22 extra employees in Nottingham to fulfill the contract, and has built a new dedicated 'command centre' in the city.

Public/private partnerships are a political hot potato at present. The Government believes that the private sector can bring expertise and efficiency to the public sector, while opponents cite problems like the chaos on the railways as a reason to keep services out of the hands of private companies.

The latest firm to look at outsourcing is Consignia, formerly the Post Office, for its 40,000 strong fleet. Scriven was not surprised that the proposal has surfaced.

He said: 'We had discussions with the Post Office on a similar deal more than 10 years ago. It is something we might be looking at again - we certainly have the expertise in managing specialist fleets like Consignia's.'

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