May 24 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Police managers will be cut and police stations closed as part of plans to cut £500million from the Metropolitan Police budget over the next three years.
Sixty-five of the least used police front counters across the capital are also proposed for closure while New Scotland Yard will be sold.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the body overseeing the Met’s £3.6bn budget and annual targets, is also in talks with the Post Office over using their high street branches as location points. A pilot will start in the summer.
Under a new policing model, specialist crime squads will be axed and 4,600 officers moved into new neighbourhood teams led by a ‘Sheriff’- style borough commander accountable for meeting targets and cutting crime in their area.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, said the Post Office proposals were at a very early stage.
He said: “The Post office has been the beneficiary of a lot of capital money from the government to keep branches open, and they need to transact and have business to be viable over the long-term.
“Specifically they are staffed by people who are security cleared, they are used to take cash, used to transactions. Some Post Offices have secure rooms as well.
“What we propose to do at this stage is to pilot something and only exapnd that if it works.”
Mr Greenhalgh added the cost cutting would have to be implemented while crime is cut by 20 per cent in seven priority areas and public confidence in the police is increased from its current 62 per cent to 75 per cent by 2016.
He said: “(The seven priority areas) are high impact, high volume crimes. They include acquisitive crime, robbery with violence, theft, burglary but also violent crime that we see in street crime, violence with injury.
“Importantly, we think that cutting crime is not enough. We also need to see a boost in the public confidence in the police service, which at the moment is lower than we would like it to be.”
An eight-week consultation, starting today, will involve a town hall meeting in every borough.
Met Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackay said 80 per cent of its spend was on police staff and offices, and functions such as IT. Officers will be instructed to work on mobile devices rather in an office.
There are currently 37 senior managers and 7,160 senior officers overseeing a total of 24,630 constables. The proposals is to reduce this to 26 senior managers, 6,022 supervisors, and 25,909 police constables.
Around 800 police staff are expected to leave the Met in the first quarter of this year, he said.
“Our supervision ratios are higher than the other 42 forces in England and Wales,” Mr Mackay added. “We looked at areas where we can change the ways in which police officers are supervised with the prize being 26,000 constables.”