HC Deb 28 October 1983 vol 47 c232W
Mr. George

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many private security firms are employed by his Department or bodies associated with his Department; how many personnel are employed, at which locations, on what responsibilites and duties, and at what annual cost; what have been the comparable figures for each of the last three years; and what estimates he has made as to the likely figures for 1984.

Mr. Newton

It is Government policy to contract out services such aw security guarding on non-sensitive sites when this is cost-effective and makes good management sense.

A firm is employed at a DHSS location in Reading; another at one in Bristol. They guard buildings outside normal working hours and during public holidays. The firm concerned provides relief guards as necessary and numbers employed are not known. At least five are on duty—three in 1981–82—at any one time.

The details of costs are as follows:

1981–82 56,700
1982–83 85,570
1983–84* 91,000
1984–85* 97,000
* Estimated.

Guards are sometimes employed to safeguard cash deliveries to local officers, but details are not available centrally. Information of this type is not collected centrally for the NHS, nor are details available of any guards employed by bodies associated with the Department.