The Home Office recently published a force-by-force overview of what the police pay for 20 common items of uniform and equipment revealing that Cheshire Constabulary is on the right track by driving costs down.
All 43 police forces in England and Wales shared their data on items such as shirts, high-visibility jackets and helmets, as well as front-line equipment such as batons, handcuffs, radios and vehicles.
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: “I have been keen to ensure the Constabulary adopts efficient procurement practices and plays its part in reducing expenditure through collaborating with other Forces and standardising the kit we require.
“By joining together with other police forces we have been able to buy in bulk giving us more power to negotiate on price and by agreeing to standardise kit with other Forces, manufacturers can cut their production costs due to less changes in specification and bigger production runs.”
Since 2010 police forces have been working together to make over £200million in savings. From collaborating over vehicle procurement to body armour, Cheshire has been making savings and in some cases, such as body armour, practically halved the cost without compromising on officer safety.
Mr Dwyer added: “The Government wants us to adopt a collaborative approach to procurement – 50% of our contracts are collaborative, so we are making great strides in Cheshire and firmly playing our part. I will continue to look for further savings through collaboration and standardisation to help meet the challenges of ongoing budget cuts.
“However I must stress these savings won’t be due to compromising on quality of kit and the safety of our officers, and where possible we are ensuring we support local businesses, in fact 50% of suppliers are local businesses.”