Daily Archives: June 15, 2010

Cleveland police outsource to Steria

I’ve made a number of comments on this £175m deal, just announced today:
You can see my video comment here…
You can hear my audio comment here…
You can see my blog for the National Outsourcing Association here…
It’s an important and interesting deal, even if you don’t usually pay attention to anything related to shared services. Here is a police authority placing their control room in the hands of the private sector. It should lead to improved service and cash savings, as well as allowing the police to focus on their community work – in theory everyone wins.
I expect to see a lot more of these public sector outsourcing deals in the near future as the new government seeks out ways to slash the budget. If they can do it through these kind of efficiencies then it should work in favour of the public, but there is no guarantee that every deal will follow this shared service model.

Book review: A few kind words and a loaded gun

Noel ‘razor’ Smith has produced an amazing book. It’s a life story, but it reads like a London version of Goodfellas. It describes the need for crime, the ability to use crime as a career choice, and the downsides of time spent in jail – not least the fact that he never managed to create a stable family environment for his wife and kids.
Crime clearly doesn’t pay, but if you want to understand how someone finds crime to be the most attractive career option and then how the code of criminal honour works once inside that life then this is the book for you. Written in a frank and engaging style, it doesn’t pull any punches, but the violence is never glamourised – when punches connect in this book there is hospital and broken bones involved.
My only criticism of the book is that the editor should have looked more closely at some of the simile use. Razor sometimes uses a simile and then uses the same one again within a page of using it earlier. I noticed this a few times in the book, so it could be a little quirk of his writing style, or just that the editor didn’t want to delete any copy with ‘razor’ being the author…!

The danger of the vuvuzela…

Have a look at eBay right now and run a search on ‘vuvuzela’…

When I last looked, there were around 130 of them for sale in the UK. And some for stupid prices considering it’s just a plastic trumpet that costs pennies to mould in China. There is money to be made selling these things in pubs over the next few weeks!

Almost everyone here in the UK is complaining about these buzzing horns and even asking for them to be banned from the world cup, though as the FIFA President Sepp Blatter has given them a strong vote of support as a part of the South African football experience, there is not going to be any ban. You had better get used to the buzzing.

But, what I find really funny is that the English fans are complaining about these horns, yet I would bet money that come the start of the premier league season in about two months, the English will all be blowing on them – in their club colours… Who wants to take a bet on it?
Football crazy!