Sunday, 5 June 2011

Police numbers.

Met officers taking over staff roles

The Metropolitan Police 2011-14 policing plan will reduce the proportion of staff in the workforce, with an 11% reduction of staff and 5% reduction of officer numbers. The Met has one of the lowest proportions of staff in the workforce in comparison with other forces.

Jenny Jones is concerned that this shift means officers are being moved into jobs previously done by staff for a lower cost, including uniformed staff such as PCSOs and others dealing directly with the public. At the London Assembly plenary meeting on the 8th June, Jenny will question the Chair of the MPA Kit Malthouse and the Met's Deputy Commissioner Tom Godwin on the value for money of this change.

Reportedly, Lambeth police are planning to fill five front counter vacancies with officers rather than specialist station reception staff or PCSOs. Further, the proposed reorganisation of the control room will see a loss of staff posts with officers taking over some of the work.

Changes to Safer Schools teams include 70 officers replacing 102 PCSOs and the Safer Transport command has seen 510 traffic warden and PCSO posts replaced by 413 officers.

The Mayor's buy-one-get-one-officer-free offer to boroughs has resulted in proposals for officers to take over park patrols from local authority staff in Redbridge and Wandsworth.

Jenny said:

“I am worried that the focus on keeping up officer numbers means the Met are taking a backward step by putting officers into roles that can be done by staff. All the advice in delivering a better police force for less recommends making greater use of police staff. Beyond financial savings, there are other advantages to using police staff in these roles, as they tend to stay in the same role longer, developing expertise and local knowledge.

“Police officers are highly trained with specialist skills and should be used in roles that require these skills. Putting officers on front counters, when this can be done successfully by specialist staff for less, delivers poor value for money for Londoners”.

Jenny Jones has put the following question to Kit Malthouse (MPA chair) and Tim Godwin (deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) for the London Assembly plenary on the 8th June.

Question No: 81/2011

Make-up of MPS workforce


Are you concerned about the value for money implications of moving to a workforce with a higher proportion of police officer posts and lower proportion of civilian posts?

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