Friday, 4 November 2011

£9 million cost of police replacing traffic wardens

It has emerged that the cost of transferring traffic warden functions to the Metropolitan Police's new structure for the Safer Transport Command will cost the Met £9 million. The proposed new structure involves replacing traffic wardens with traffic police community support officers and traffic warden managers with police sergeants. The cost of early departures and the additional retraining and redeployment of traffic wardens is £9 million.

The Met has one of the lowest proportions of civilian staff in its workforce compared to other forces. The replacement of traffic wardens will reduce further the use of civilian staff. Generally use of civilian staff is cheaper that use of police officers.
Jenny Jones said:
“I am worried that the Mayor's fixation with 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. Spending £9 million to replace civilian staff with experienced police sergeants and community support officers does not make good financial sense at a time when budgets are being cut.
“Police sergeants are highly trained and should be used in roles that require these skills. The de-civilianisation of the Met is worrying, when jobs can be done successfully by staff for less. It delivers poor value for money for Londoners”.
Question to the MPS 2011-90 traffic wardens

What was the total cost of transfer from the previous traffic warden arrangement to the present system, including the traffic warden supervisors and also retraining costs?


For several years now the MPS and TfL have, in consultation with the Trade Union Side, been working towards a new service delivery model within the Safer Transport Command (STC). This model is based on the use of TPCSOs rather than Traffic Wardens. The business rationale supporting the transition is predicated on the additional powers and therefore operational flexibility provided by TPCSOs as compared to Traffic Wardens. These additional powers enable TPCSOs to deal with ASB, cycling offences, counter terrorism and the ability to detain certain persons. TPCSOs also provide additional tactical deployment options enabling the MPS to meet the changing demands of the service. This increased flexibility will also enable the MPS to more effectively deliver against the requirements of the Olympic Policing operation and this will be reflected in updates to the Olympic planning in this area.

To facilitate the transition to the new STC service delivery model, voluntary early departure offers were made to the Traffic Warden group in November 2010 (Phase 1) and again in April 2011 (Phase 2). The total costs of the 200 early departures is £8.95m (this figure includes both departures to date and planned departures for both Traffic Wardens and Traffic Warden Managers). In addition, we have successfully redeployed 25 Traffic Wardens into the TPCSO role and have a further 21 currently completing the TPCSO training course. On the basis of a 100% success rate (which we anticipate) the training costs for this group will be approximately £73,400.

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