HERTS’ police boss has denied it is ironic a failed cash saving outsourcing scheme has cost taxpayers more than £200,000.

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The county’s force had planned to work with Beds and Cambs police to use private security firm G4S for back room roles, but the controversial move fell through following crisis talks between the three counties’ police and crime commissioners.

Herts’ crime czar, David Lloyd, defended the spend claiming the work and experience will help pave the way for future work.

He said: “The money is part of a process and what we are doing is finding a way to make the best use of our resources more efficiently. To do that we have to have a basis of finding out what it is all about.

“It is not ironic [the efficiency cost so much] because when we have the solution, it will cost less than what it does at the moment.”

Herts’ force estimates that it forked out £243,000 on the failed project – with the total cost, including Beds and Cambs, expected to be £543,853. Although the final figure could be higher or lower as certain costs have not been invoiced.

The G4S plan put 1,100 jobs at risk and was modelled on a scheme used by Lincolnshire Police.

Public service union Unison was enraged by the proposal and launched a campaign against it across the three counties.

Herts Police Federation chairman Neal Alston has labelled the spend “a shame”.

“It is tricky because the PCC will say it was started by the police authority, although he was chair of the police authority,“ he told the WHT.

“It is a shame the money has been wasted and spent, but the police and crime commissioner said it had not been wasted because it would go forward to outsourcing work in the future.”

He added: “Although it seems like a lot of money, if you can get some benefit out of it, it will be good for Hertfordshire.”

Herts Police claim the money has not been wasted and “will prove extremely valuable” as it looks at other outsourcing schemes.

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