I do apologise, I had no intention of writing anything today and then that bloody Boris person went and published his Policing Plan for London and I just had to vent my spleen.
The first thing that grabbed my attention is his statement that he will recruit 5,000 more Constables in the next 3 years. Very admirable, surely no-one would argue with that. In March 2012 The Metropolitan Police Service had 24,328 Constables (male and female). In March 2010 the number was 24,788 and in March 2011 24,595, so it is obvious that the number has slowly been declining over the past few years. So how the hell, in times of austerity, does Boris think that he can increase the Constables‘ Establishment by 25%? Completely admirable, but how is this going to be achieved? The Met will NEVER have had so many Constables. Take note that the Deputy Mayor For Policing (and his special advisor Blair Gibbs no doubt) state that the Met can afford 26,000 Bobbies. What does that really mean?
The headline statement is recruit 5,000 more Constables but the actual report talks of increasing numbers from 24,000 to 26,000.
Boris states that he intends to keep Police Numbers close to 32,000. So if he’s going to recruit a further 5,000 Constables that must mean bad news for somebody, somewhere.
“Front counters in police stations remain a core part of the plan to deliver accessibility. Although front counters will
reduce in number, an approach will be introduced that aims to improve comfort and accessibility and enhance service delivery. Each Borough will have a front counter open all day, every day – 24/7. These will be supplemented with a further 40 front counters with non 24/7 opening hours.” It is widely quoted today that 63 Front Counters will close completely, that’s approximately HALF the total number, and of the remaining 73 only half of those will be open 24/7. In addition to the 73 front counters, there will be almost 100 contact points which will be open a minimum of three times each week for the public to talk to their local officers face to face. Most of these will be in Safer Neighbourhood Team bases.
“The Mayor’s aim is to drive down crime by at least 20% in the key categories of burglary, vandalism/criminal damage, theft of and from motor vehicles, violence with injury, robbery and theft from the person. This challenge to the police has been accepted by the Commissioner.” Again, very admirable, but he does he really think that the Police are or have been ignoring these types of crime?
“Hold the Commissioner to account for achieving a 20% reduction in the 7 key neighbourhood crime types
by 2016. Progress will be monitored monthly as part of the formal bi-lateral between the Deputy Mayor and the
Commissioner and quarterly at the MOPAC Performance Challenge meetings, which are chaired by the Mayor and held in public” Oh good, more stats and meetings for the Direct Entry types to attend.
“The Mayor is confident he can achieve his aim of improving cutting crime and boosting confidence, as well as finding significant savings. The aim is to cut costs to absorb a reduction in the central grant to the MPS budget of 20%.” Well, if you work in the Met, there it is, budgets slashed by 20% over the next three years. Don’t even think about asking for a new pair of uniform trousers, or a shirt.
“The MPS net budget currently stands at £2.6bn (i.e. excluding special grants from the Home Office), and the Commissioner has been challenged to deliver savings of £500m – (this represents 20% of the net budget) – by 2016. The focus for these savings will be back office functions – the Mayor’s top priority will be to protect the front line and ensure that every penny is used to support it.” Define Back Office functions, I’m sure most folk won’t agree what constitutes ‘Back Office’.
Reforming the policing model and the back office
“This is being done by introducing the new Local Policing Model, and delivering the highest number of police constables the MPS has ever seen, as well as streamlining the top heavy management structure of the MPS. This will mean nearly a third fewer senior officers at ACPO rank and over 1,000 fewer supervisors (all ranks between sergeant and chief superintendent)” Well at least the Met won’t need any of those Direct Entry chaps if they’re shedding supervisors, so that’s where the 5,000 Constables are coming from obviously.
“The MPS has outsourced some back office functions such as payroll and IT support” What is he on? These are not Police functions in any way, they are purely support/admin and I know of no warranted Police Officers engaged in such functions.
There is much, much more to this report, it drones on for over 90 pages, and I certainly haven’t read it all yet. I’ve just tried to skim and nick a few headline grabbers.
Below is a full list of the police stations that are to close under the plan.
- Barking and Dagenham – Marks Gate Police Office
- Barnet – Whetstone Police Station
- Barnet – Golders Green Police Station
- Bexley – Belvedere Police Station
- Brent – Harlesden Police Station
- Brent – Willesden Green Police Station
- Bromley – Main Road 192 and 194 Ground Floor, Biggin Hill
- Bromley – Orpington Police Station
- Camden – West Hampstead Police Station
- Camden – Albany Street Police Station
- Camden – Hampstead Police Station
- Croydon – Addington Police Station
- Croydon – Whytecliffe Road South 9 and 11, Purley
- Croydon – Kenley Police Station
- Croydon – Norbury Police Station
- Croydon – South Norwood Police Station
- Ealing – Greenford Police Station
- Enfield – Southgate Police Station
- Enfield – Winchmore Hill Police Station
- Greenwich – Greenwich Police Station
- Greenwich – Joyce Dawson Way 11, Thamesmead
- Greenwich – Woolwich Police Station
- Hackney – Hackney Police Station
- Hammersmith and Fulham – Shepherds Bush Police Station
- Haringey – Muswell Hill Police Station
- Harrow – Harrow Central, Kirkland House, Ground Floor
- Harrow – Pinner Police Station
- Having – Havering PASC
- Havering – Hornchurch Police Station
- Havering – Rainham Police Office
- Havering – Straight Road 84-86
- Hillingdon – Ruislip Police Station
- Hillingdon – Northwood Police Office
- Hounslow – Feltham Police Station
- Hounslow – Brentford Police Station
- Kensington and Chelsea – Chelsea Police Station
- Kingston upon Thames – Millbank House, Ground Floor North
- Lambeth – Cavendish Road Police Station
- Lambeth – Gypsy Hill Police Station
- Lambeth – Clapham Police Station
- Lewisham – Brockley Police Station
- Lewisham – Sydenham Police Station
- Merton – Morden Police Office, 3 Crown Parade
- Newham – East Ham Police Station and former section house
- Newham – North Woolwich Police Station
- Redbridge – Woodford Police Station
- Redbridge – Wanstead Police Station
- Southwark – East Dulwich Police Station
- Southwark – Camberwell Police Station
- Southwark – Rotherhithe Police Station
- Sutton – Crosspoint House, ground and first floors
- Tower Hamlets – Isle of Dogs Police Station
- Tower Hamlets – Poplar Police Office
- Tower Hamlets – Bow Police Station
- Waltham Forest – Waltham House
- Waltham Forest – Leyton Police Station
- Waltham Forest – Walthamstow Police Station
- Wandsworth – Jubilee House, Putney
- Wandsworth – Tooting Police Station and former section house
- Wandsworth – Battersea Police Station
- Westminster – Harrow Road Police Station
- Westminster – Marylebone Police Station and former section house
- Westminster – St John’s Wood Police Station