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- Met Forward: Focusing on fighting crime the MPA mission
Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).
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Met Forward: Focusing on fighting crime the MPA mission
When I became your Mayor, I said I would lead the fight against crime.
I am proud to share with you London’s new strategic mission for policing. It will guide the Met in tackling the issues that matter most for Londoners: serious youth crime, violence against women, terrorism, safety on our buses and trains, and dangerous dogs. This strategic mission will also help us drive performance, support the Met’s officers and staff, and prepare for the enormous challenge of policing the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I believe the solution to tackling crime and disorder lies in providing strong leadership to enable the police to do their jobs. We need to get rid of the target-driven culture so officers can spend more time on the streets. As Mayor, my role is to set out the vision and strategy, but I know we can only realise that vision through partnership with others. I welcome the opportunity to work closely with Sir Paul Stephenson in leading the Met forward in the fight against crime.
Mayor of London
Met Forward: focusing on fighting crime
The Metropolitan Police Service, or Met as it is usually known, is an incredible organisation. Within its ranks are tens of thousands of men and women who – to protect Londoners – will run towards, not away from, a gun, knife or bomb. Their dedication and achievements are truly inspiring. These officers are supported by police staff and partners who should also be proud of the role they play in protecting the capital. But London is a complex city to police. Getting a grip on crime in such a difficult environment can only be achieved by a police force that focuses on a clear strategic mission. This document is the Metropolitan Police Authority’s (MPA) statement of that strategic mission and a clear signal to the Met as to how the Authority wants them to develop and perform in the years to come.
Since Boris Johnson became Mayor, the Authority’s way of working has been revamped and we have taken some radical steps to address immediate crime priorities: Operations Blunt 2 and Tyrol brought concerted action on knife crime and safety on public transport, and further action on dangerous dogs, gangs and violence in suburban town centres is now underway. Crime mapping has been launched across the capital to provide more transparency for Londoners and changes in the leadership team at New Scotland Yard brings an opportunity to inject renewed vigour into the Met.
Against this backdrop, and despite real falls in crime, the Met has experienced a difficult period in its history. The outcome of the Stockwell Inquiry, together with some high profile investigations and employment tribunals, knocked public confidence in the professionalism and capability of the organisation. Signal crimes, especially the number of teenage killings, continue to spread fear. Some victims and witnesses are still unhappy with the service they receive and there are particular concerns with the way they are kept informed. Added to this there is a gap in satisfaction rates between white and black and minority ethnic (BME) victims. In all this, the Met is properly vigilant against the constant and increasingly complex threat from international and home grown terrorism, but the public manifestation of this vigilance causes alarm about civil liberties and basic freedoms, leading to a breakdown in trust.
Of course, making people feel safe is not just down to the Met. Local authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the courts, the probation and prison services, the Government Office for London and many others all contribute to an atmosphere of order and security. We must all work together, and that includes the public as well as partners, to deliver success.
The job of the MPA is to fight crime by getting the best out of the Met. This document is our strategic work programme to do just that.
Based on analysis of performance, an assessment of current and future opportunities and threats, Mayoral and government priorities, and what London communities have told us, we have grouped our work streams into eight programmes, all designed to contribute to three key outcomes:
- fight crime and reduce criminality;
- increase confidence in policing; and
- give us better value for money.
These outcomes might seem obvious at first sight, but they often become lost in the day-to-day activity of running our police force and reacting to events. Constantly reminding ourselves about the objectives of our collective mission will help us focus on what is important. Everything that we do must be directed to these three objectives.
In some areas of our work we merely need to adjust priorities. In others, we need an entirely new approach and cultural as well as procedural change. In all areas we need a concentration on performance and efficiency. We fully subscribe to the policing philosophy laid out by the Commissioner in his five ‘P’s’: Presence, Performance, Productivity, Professionalism and Pride. We want to help him deliver.
The Authority has therefore produced ‘Met Forward’, a plan to drive and support these outcomes. We want to make sure that effort is focused in ways that will deliver maximum impact and support the delivery of the Policing London Business Plan. The Met is already a high performing organisation: our aim is to help it be better still.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Chair of the MPA
Met Forward consists of eight strands:
- Met Streets - delivering order, control and safety to the public realm
- Met Specialist - driving performance and trust in our non-territorial crime fighting
- Met Partners - assembling the coalition to fight crime
- Met Connect - a better conversation with those we protect
- Met People - valuing our officers and staff
- Met Olympics - preparing for our biggest challenge
- Met Support - improving the infrastructure that supports crime fighting
- Met Standards - identifying and rewarding performance and efficiency
1. Met Streets
Met Streets is about the first duty of the police: securing the public realm for the law-abiding. Londoners want to feel confident and safe in their neighbourhoods and our shared public space. We must make it so. We also need to stitch the Met back into the fabric of the city and its neighbourhoods, enhancing trust in the police and Londoners’ pride in the Met.
We have already established eight key programmes, some more advanced than others. We will continue to invest in these eight and we will add to them as necessary.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams will continue to act as the bedrock of local crime fighting. Londoners want their local police to have a sense of territorial ownership and custodial pride. A huge investment has been made in Safer Neighbourhoods policing and it is now our job to make this investment deliver real results. This coming year we will consider the strategic priorities of Safer Neighbourhoods within an overall scrutiny spotlight. We want to make sure that resources are being deployed effectively and maximum impact is being achieved from the investment made.
How Safer Neighbourhoods develops is important. We need to build on our problem solving and preventative approach which has been core to Safer Neighbourhoods. There is now the opportunity to make great gains from this investment by bringing together the various elements of neighbourhood policing into a more integrated model. We want to be able to extend the coverage and focus on locations and incidents of greatest concern.
Above all else, Londoners want to see more of our police officers on the street. We have a duty to give them what they want and pay for. We want to find ways for officers to spend as much time as possible out and about by reducing bureaucracy, using technology, maximising the use of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), special constables and the rollout of virtual courts. Work on visibility has already begun under the new Commissioner in the ‘Presence’ strand of his programme, including the preference for single patrolling wherever possible.
Knife crime (Operation Blunt 2)
There have been far too many killings, especially of young people, at the hands of those wielding a blade. Within days of the Mayor being elected, the Met introduced Operation Blunt 2, designed to confront this growing horror. Since then over 200,000 people have been stopped and searched and an alarming number of weapons have been removed from the streets. We have pledged to support the Commissioner to tackle this issue and in particular the use of Blunt 2 for as long as the evidence supports its use and until we see a significant reduction in knife related violence. Building on the work already undertaken by the Authority on the monitoring of stop and search, we will continue our active oversight of the use of these tactics and interventions. We must however be sensitive to the assertive and controversial nature of our tactics and work hard to maintain neighbourhood support and supervision if we are to avoid problems. As circumstances change so too will the tactics need to change. Training is critical and the MPA will play its part in making sure the Met do their utmost to ensure everyone is treated with respect when stopped.
Safer Transport teams (Operation Tyrol)
As well as being safe in their own areas, Londoners must be able to travel about the city in safety. The Mayor has already redirected money from Transport for London to the Met and created Operation Tyrol. By July 2009, there will be 32 teams of crime fighters based in transport hubs across the capital. The Mayor has also paid for 50 extra British Transport Police (BTP) officers on the rail and tube network. Driving the rollout and performance of these teams and ensuring they work effectively together will be a key part of our mission. Joint working with BTP must be automatic and seamless.
Of all the problems we face in London, the rise in gangs and gang culture is one of the most insidious and alarming. Since May last year, the Met has begun the work of taking on the gangs more assertively and systematically. The most violent gangs have been identified, borough specific action plans are being developed and cross border collaboration is being strengthened. A greater concentration of resources and effort in areas that suffer from high levels of gang activity will soon be effected. A more coherent approach across the Met is required and greater cooperation with forces outside London will reap benefits. Again we will need help. Police enforcement is only part of the solution. Probation, youth justice, the prison service and local authorities must all play their part.
To make all this happen we will establish a London Gang Tactics Board, supported through the MPA, to ensure that Met resources, including Trident and the Specialist Crime Directorate, work with partners, drive activity, disseminate what works and monitor performance.
We want our town centres to be safe. We need a new deployment plan to make this happen. Thirty two priority town centres are already being identified in partnership with local authorities and plans will be put in place over the next two years to maximise the deployment of Met resources, including PCSOs, specials and volunteers in these areas. We will be looking to our partners to work with us on town centre management and the provision of town centre accommodation for our crimefighters.
Dogs as weapons
The rise in numbers of dangerous and status dogs is alarming. In many cases they are becoming the weapon of choice. Dog fighting is on the rise, and a small number of these animals, used for intimidation purposes, can cause a disproportionate climate of fear in a particular area or estate. The MPA has been concerned about this issue for a long period of time and in response the Met has now set up a dedicated Status Dogs Unit. But we need help to eradicate this menace. Local authorities should deliver their statutory duties especially around strays, and sign up to a preventative agenda, including the enforcement of no pet clauses in local authority and housing association agreements and for dog wardens to be better supported. The courts must also play their part and we will be pressing for a training programme for magistrates and CPS lawyers so that decision making is better and quicker. The dangerous dogs legislation is confused and ineffective and we will be lobbying with others, particularly the RSPCA, for an overhaul of the law to make our streets and estates safe.
More specials by 2012
The Mayor has announced big plans for special constables. Every single one a volunteer, they play a crucial part in uniformed governance of the streets. They form an important part of the relationship between the police and the public. Bluntly, they help both police officers and public to see each other as human beings. We want more of them, lots more. We recognise the challenge in terms of recruitment, training and supervision but our target is to increase their number by 2012, not least as we will need them most during Olympic year, when all police resources will be put to the test. Dedicated and motivated to serve their communities, each new special constable will contribute to the safety of London and to a better relationship with Londoners.
2. Met Specialist
Fighting crime and terrorism sometimes needs additional specialist skills. Whilst we rightly concentrate on neighbourhood policing, we cannot afford to take our eyes off the other crime types, as they too can have a dreadful effect on the ground and on public confidence. Playing our part in the fight against domestic and international terror is every member of staff’s responsibility, and so we will be looking to see how staff in all command units, not just on boroughs, work together to deliver improvements in public confidence. This has never been more important, and we must ensure the Met’s handling of critical incidents is faultless. Largely unseen, the specialist units of the Met must play their part and we must help them continue to excel. This will mean understanding and dealing with the cultural and diversity issues associated with specialist posts and the skills needed to move forward.
Terrorism is a significant ongoing threat to London and the UK. This is particularly pertinent as we build up to and host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. In conjunction with the Met, other forces, authorities and government, the MPA has played a key role in developing the CONTEST strategy with its four strands: Prevent, Prepare, Protect and Pursue. We will continue to scrutinise performance across all areas of the strategy and we will keep our ground breaking work in this area – Counter Terrorism: The London Debate – under constant review, to ensure that the recommendations made continue to deliver the expected benefits, and to determine whether new issues have emerged for us to face.
We must also learn the lessons of Stockwell for the management of critical incidents and in particular embed its three themes: minimising loss of life; confidence in practices and procedures; and fit for threat. Our Stockwell scrutiny panel will continue to meet to ensure this happens.
A significant amount of emphasis has rightly been placed on the development of the Prevent strand of the CONTEST strategy. There is a realisation that to be truly effective, Prevent must draw in partners from outside policing and the security services. Prevent tactics and the effectiveness of partnership activity must be the subject of constant re-examination to ensure we identify and disseminate best practice, drive performance and draw together those engaged on this critical mission. If we get this work right, no one will notice. That will be our test.
Under the Children Act 2004 (the legal basis for Every Child Matters) the MPA has a legal duty to cooperate to improve well-being and to promote safeguarding of children. We take this responsibility very seriously and have developed a benchmark for the Met in the delivery of Every Child Matters. A priority going forward is for the Authority to ensure that through our scrutiny process the objectives and benefits have been operationalised and sustained.
The tragic death of Baby Peter highlighted the importance that policy, process and procedures transfer into real tangible change across the Met. The failure to protect a child or young person from abuse or harm, when identified within the system, is not acceptable. Now that the structures around Every Child Matters are in place, the Authority is moving to consider the systematic blocks that failed to protect Baby Peter when he came into contact with the Met. We are committed to ensuring that the Met learns from this and moves forward to provide children in London the protection they deserve.
Likewise, we will continue to closely monitor the Met contribution to the multiagency Public Protection Partnership set up to ensure that police, probation and other agencies work together to assess and monitor the risks presented by known sexual and violent offenders. This will include continued scrutiny of the Met response to domestic and sexual violence, building on the recommendations of the MPA Domestic and Sexual Violence Board. The Authority will also scrutinise performance with regard to the safety and protection of Adults at Risk and support close multiagency work in this critical area.
Rape is a greatly under-reported crime. The recent rise in the incidence of reported rape is potentially disturbing, but whether the increase is down to greater reporting or increased offending, we must do our utmost to address this heinous crime. We will ensure that all parts of London are covered by specialist rape investigation teams, and that we play our full part in the Mayor’s new Violence Against Women Strategy. In partnership with the havens, women’s organisations, local authorities, and the Greater London Authority (GLA), we will respond strongly to the call for a greater concentration of effort in this area.
The full range of specialist crime investigation including homicide, kidnapping, Trident, economic and e-crime has to be resourced and supported by the Authority. While the vast majority of people are not directly affected by these crimes and serious criminality, their impact does undermine public confidence. London needs the Met to continue to deliver excellent performance by the Specialist Crime Directorate.
Our relationship with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) offers scope for development. To deal with the most serious of criminals and their networks it is vital that we work closely with SOCA on their mission and in turn that they ask of themselves what Londoners need.
The division of the spoils taken from criminals is not right. Currently we have little financial incentive to pursue the proceeds of crime since the vast majority of funds are remitted to the government. We are working with the Met to conclude a new financial settlement, and we can then begin our task with renewed vigour and new resources. But we will need to keep a careful eye on this investment to ensure it makes the returns we expect.
Public order and civil liberties
In the main we are proud of the Met’s record on public order, but we recognise that some of the tactics and powers cause concern. We reiterate that protesting peacefully on the streets of London is a citizen’s inalienable right and we will always do our best to make sure this right is unimpeded. But we have a duty to maintain public order and safety and to ensure that those not engaged in a particular protest can also go about their lawful business. The Authority needs to be satisfied that the Met has got this difficult balance right, and the public need to believe this too.
Public order policing is also bound up with the continuing national debate about civil liberties. There is much confusion and misunderstanding within this debate and the Met has, on occasions, found itself drawn into controversy. Public mistrust will increasingly hamper the Met’s ability to fight crime. Our duty, as London’s police authority, is to ensure the Met restores and maintains public trust. In order to support this, we will establish a Civil Liberties Panel of Authority members that will begin its work with a formal civil liberties scrutiny of the Met’s public order policing of violent disorder. Once the initial scrutiny is complete, the panel will continue both to monitor the situation and hear specific concerns from the public and human rights organisations.
We will ensure that the recommendations that emerge from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) review of public order tactics and training, following the recent G20 demonstrations, are addressed by the panel.
Firearms and Tasers
The Met rightly keeps tight control over the use of firearms and tasers. Public confidence and trust could be severely affected by their indiscriminate use. While recognising that police officers have an absolute right to protect themselves from harm and that it is our duty to keep them as safe as possible, we must resist any moves towards routine arming of the police.
As 2012 approaches our armed capability must increase, but alongside that we need to expand and improve our training and processes for the use of firearms to ensure we get those critical incidents right and maintain public trust.
We will keep the use of Tasers under review. Any expansion of their use will be brought back to the MPA for full and transparent scrutiny of the evidence for change.
Talking to each other
Whilst the Met is divided into departments, operational command units, and directorates, it fights crime and terrorism best when people in these various commands talk to each other. We must encourage the front line to talk more to the public and then for the specialists to talk more to the front line. The connection between the street officer and our Counter-Terrorism Command is the envy of the world. We must embed this advantage in a systematic way, with technological and cultural change driven from the centre.
3. Met Partners
Making people feel safe and secure is not just down to the Met. Local authorities, the CPS, the courts, probation and prison services, the Government Office for London and many others have common cause with us and we must work together to achieve real success.
The relationship between local authorities and the MPA is particularly significant in setting policing priorities and key targets. We must balance corporate and local targets (especially Local Area Agreement targets) whilst at the same time having an eye to resources and the role of local authorities in increasing visible uniformed policing available through the employment of additional police officers, PCSOs and local authority wardens.
London Crime Reduction Board
There is a plethora of organisations, statutory and voluntary, involved in crime and community safety. We have disparate relationships with an enormous number of individuals and organisations, all of whom have legitimate roles in coordination, democratic oversight, and setting of shared priorities.
We must have better shared ownership of local issues and effective joint problem solving. Our relationships with the ranks of local, regional and national bodies such as the Home Office, Government Office for London, SOCA, the Association of Police Authorities and the GLA family must be pulled together. It is imperative that we support and drive performance in Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships across the capital, and indeed nationally. The landscape is complicated by the sheer number of those involved. We need a better way of working under one accepted governance structure across all partners in the capital. We therefore propose to establish a single London Crime Reduction Board, led by the MPA, to bring clarity and ensure delivery.
Getting together to make a plan is a good place to start. Our main tool in driving partnership will be our new joint engagement meetings (JEMs) held between local authorities, borough commands and other partners. Using extensive and comprehensive data sources, these meetings will be used as the starting point in developing joint strategies in areas of shared concern. We have begun by looking in depth at the problem of serious youth violence and following initial pilot meetings it is now our intention to roll this out across all boroughs. We will use JEMs to deliver joint action to achieve the confidence target set for local authorities and the police.
Serious youth violence
Serious youth violence is a priority for Londoners. It is a pervasive threat to many within our communities and prevents young people across the capital from going about their day-to-day lives and realising their true potential. The Mayor’s Serious Youth Violence Action Plan – ‘Time for Action’ – sets out a number of workplans with which the Met is already cooperating. We will work with partners to make real and lasting change happen, building on the ‘Project You’ initiatives that are spreading across the capital.
Violence against women
There is great work already underway across London on domestic violence but it is recognised that more can be done. Following a period of consultation, the MPA Domestic and Sexual Violence Board will form part of the governance structure for the Mayor’s London Violence Against Women Strategy. The Board, open to the public to facilitate greater accountability, will monitor London boroughs and the Met to assess their performance. There is plenty of evidence that effective multi-agency interventions in domestic violence pay off in terms of averting escalation to the most extreme offences. We will also continue to fund unique projects such as the Human Trafficking team, working with the Borders Agency and Immigration to actively target gangs who bring women to the UK under false pretences or against their will.
The targeting of an individual or community as a result of their race, faith, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation is not acceptable. In 2004 the MPA established a Race Hate Crime Forum. Whilst this was effective at focusing on race hate crime, we want to broaden its work in order that all strands of hatred are confronted. Building on the strengths and achievements of the Race Hate Crime Forum, we are creating a Hate Crime Forum that will scrutinise performance in this area, identify good practice and ensure consistency of service.
Creative partnership with London’s criminal justice system, through the London Criminal Justice Board, has led to productive innovations including virtual courts, integrated prosecution teams and Diamond Districts. The later aim to limit repeat offending and reduce the likelihood of offenders having an influence on younger family members that could lead them into criminality. We will review and evaluate their success to determine further expansion across London. There is scope for greater efficiencies and increased mutual support and we will continue to lead and encourage this.
4. Met Connect
All organisations do best when they listen to the people they serve about the way they live their lives. Often though, it is hard to hear those people through the shouting and confusion. We need a new approach, then we need to talk and consult more often to make sure we are getting things right.
People who feel properly informed about local policing have more confidence in their local police and are more likely to feel that levels of crime and antisocial behaviour have reduced. Research also shows that those members of the public who are informed have a better opinion of police effectiveness. Improved confidence in policing will pay dividends in fighting crime as communities grow confident about working with the police and come forward as witnesses and providers of intelligence. We must be creative in communicating effectively with everyone, recognising how very diverse a city London now is. The MPA must ensure that mechanisms are in place for the Authority and for the Met to address this challenge. Key to our success will be ensuring that policing priorities and service delivery reflect the feedback we get from Londoners.
How to ensure people feel safe in their local area is one of the biggest challenges facing us all as we move forward. Although London has seen significant crime reduction in the last year, fear of crime remains too high and confidence in policing too low. The drivers of public confidence are complex but letting people know what is happening in their local area is key. People need information about partnership problem solving, community engagement, visibility, managing expectations, and quality contacts with the police. Confidence is the overarching indicator on how the police and local authorities will be measured. We are not alone however in being held accountable for delivering public confidence, as the new national measure is a joint one with local authorities. We will be examining every aspect of the factors that contribute to public confidence to ensure that appropriate strategies are put in place.
The Policing Pledge
Driving satisfaction means making promises – and then keeping them. Londoners want to know what they can expect when they need us, and then they want their expectations fulfilled. They also need us to record and communicate performance in a way they can understand and can trust. A key element in this is the delivery of the ‘Policing Pledge: our promise to the public’. This lays out what basic response standards the public can expect from the Met. The Authority will actively monitor performance against these standards, encouraging and driving the Met to achieve, and then exceed, its targets wherever possible, learning and improving where systems are not working.
Standardisation of engagement structures
We currently have a number of ways to consult, engage and communicate with individuals, groups and communities. We need to understand what method works best and then standardise our structures where appropriate to avoid confusion. We need to be clear about what we want to achieve from engagement. We must find new and innovative ways to involve and engage people, especially the young, with a focus on using new technology. Our aim is to enlist support in preventing and detecting crime, particularly in the areas of serious youth violence and extremist behaviour. We will review and refresh the MPA/Met engagement strategy and develop new ways of working. As part of refreshing our structures we will review the effectiveness of Community Police Engagement Panels, Neighbourhood Panels and local Independent Advisory Groups across London.
Crime mapping and crime statistics
Crime mapping was introduced in the Met during September 2008. Everyone can now find out about certain crime types in their local area. As we hoped, the maps are being used to enhance public engagement and encourage constructive debate with local police. Safer Neighbourhoods Panels are using the information to inform their meetings and residents can assess local performance. Over the next few months more crime types will be mapped and other information, such as crime prevention advice, will be available.
Publishing crime statistics that are not mucked about with is an important step in gaining people’s trust over time. We want Londoners to have total confidence in our statistics so they can truly judge our performance. To win this trust we have launched our own crime statistics website. There you will find a straightforward list of the crimes people worry about, fairly defined and counted. Now that the definitions and methods of counting are established Londoners can have the confidence that trends in crime reflect performance, and that the goal posts will not be moved.
Each of London’s 32 borough commanders is a crucial appointment. More than any other officer they will have a huge influence on local engagement and partnership working. Getting this right can drive exceptional performance, and getting it wrong can cause community tensions. We recognise that there have been concerns raised about the lack of continuity in post. On occasions officers fill the position for a matter of months before being promoted and moving on, which causes disruption to the community they serve. We are working with the Commissioner to review the appointment process, specifically at involving the local council in this process. We also have an expectation that borough commanders will normally stay in post for a minimum of three years.
We need to make sure we have the confidence of all our communities. Concern about fairness and equality must inform everything we do. The Mayor has commissioned an inquiry, led by the MPA, into Race and Faith within the Met. This is a focused piece of work to identify those areas and practices in need of change. Our aim is to ensure that all officers, staff and communities continue to have confidence in policing in London and that the crime fighting and other benefits of a diverse workforce are fully realised.
5. Met People
It is said time and time again, but people really are our most valuable resource. We want them to feel valued and supported, but also well trained and professionally led and managed. Most of all we want them to feel proud of the Met and motivated to do their best for Londoners. We will spend a lot of time in the coming years looking outwards. It is only right that some of our efforts are directed inwards, at our own people.
But absolutely everyone who serves in the Met must understand and subscribe to the values of the organisation – professionalism, pride, and a commitment to the service of London. If their behaviour does not exemplify these values, then we will not tolerate their presence in this great organisation.
Leadership is critical and the MPA will require the Met to demonstrate that there is an effective leadership development, talent management and succession planning programme in place for police staff and officers. We will be working with other national policing organisations to ensure that the courses they provide are fit for purpose and deliver the best possible leaders.
Once they are promoted to Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) ranks, there is little if any training available for our police officers. We must rectify this and ensure they have the skills to manage a multi-billion pound business in a constantly changing and challenging environment. We will look externally, and to private industry, for different approaches to leadership development and how to keep senior managers invigorated and full of new ideas. A sense of leadership must permeate every level of the organisation and we want to make sure people are not afraid or unable to supervise and direct their teams to best effect.
Ensuring a representative workforce
Officers and staff in the Met cannot fight crime effectively if they do not, taken overall, reflect, look like, understand and appreciate the city they serve. BME staff, women, people of different faiths, young and old, people with disabilities and of various sexualities all contribute to the Met’s cultural mix. They must all feel valued and all operate on a level playing field. Despite huge progress, sadly this is still not always the case. In particular, progression of officers from BME communities and women remains a concern. We must find a way to address these issues without creating a grievance culture or a ‘tick-box’ approach.
Our Race and Faith Inquiry will seek to identify practical positive measures to address these concerns and to challenge and change existing processes where appropriate. Confidence in policing will be improved when the public not only sees a workforce that is truly representative, but when they experience that in their day-today interactions. High ethical standards from all staff will be paramount. We will continue to maintain a close and detailed oversight of the work of the Directorate of Professional Standards.
The MPA is particularly concerned with ensuring that workforce development is addressed. We want to be clear about the costs, benefits and risks of introducing new staffing models and the long-term implications, including our ability to maintain operational resilience and offer staff and officers career progression – both upwards and laterally. We will be working with the Met and partners to develop proposals over the coming months and where necessary challenge barriers to successful delivery.
We want to look more carefully and with some imagination at how we can make the lives of our people easier. For such a large organisation it is vital that officers and staff not only feel proud, but are confident that the Met is thinking about their welfare, that of their families and how they live their lives.
Our officers and staff rely on their families for support. Those families do their bit for policing in London too, and it is time we recognised what they do. We will think carefully about how we can help partners and families to feel better supported and appreciated.
It is also important to recognise publicly the professionalism and courage shown by Met staff and officers in their daily work. It is our intention to work alongside the other emergency service providers to create a ‘Blue Lights Courage Award’ to acknowledge the bravery and commitment of our staff.
In recognition of the scale of change anticipated over the next four years, the MPA will also conduct a review of ACPO terms and conditions, including a review of the bonus scheme and pay. ACPO officers themselves question the bonus scheme and its ability truly to impact on performance. At the moment London’s senior officers are not well served by national pay negotiations, which do not allow us, as an employer, proper flexibility.
Training and development is the key to success and building a positive and professional culture. We will be looking to the Met to deliver cost effective programmes that create a culture of self-learning and improvement and support a diverse workforce. We will review the cost and effectiveness of local versus central delivery, and seek to ensure that the Met is taking full advantage of nationally agreed training programmes and use of a managed learning environment to reduce time away from the work place.
6. Met Olympics
It is an understatement to say that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a challenge and one that deserves a work programme of its own. Make no mistake, everyone is pitching in now, but when the lights come on in 2012 and everyone is in the stadium, someone has to stay outside and keep the city safe, and that someone is the Met. We need a plan, one that looks to the effect of the Games on the whole city, not just the venues, and which protects the people of London and London’s reputation.
Delivering a safe, secure and resilient Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a corporate priority for the Met leading up to 2012. The MPA must ensure that the Met is delivering against this objective, without impacting significantly on the delivery of day-to-day policing in the run up to and during the Games period. We need the debate on what this actually means in practice and how it can be achieved within the budget once negotiated and agreed with the Home Office.
As members of the Olympic Security Board, we will be party to the formulation of the security plan and will appoint an Assistant Commissioner to lead this programme. During 2009/10 we will also be refining our governance arrangements and will begin the work of providing additional capacity and capability through the specials and volunteering programme.
The threat presented by extremist activity and organised crime to London in 2012 is real. Over the period of this plan we will be working with the Met and others to ensure that we optimise and promulgate the Prevent strand of CONTEST and the various workstreams targeting serious and organised crime at a local and national level.
Having the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right places will be a challenge and a focus for HR activity. We will need to review carefully abstractions in the period leading up to and during the Games, the specialist skills needed together with the cost of providing these skills, and the potential impact on day-to-day policing. We will scrutinise these plans to support the Met in ensuring that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are safe and secure.
The Authority will also continue to be involved in the development of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Olympic sex trafficking strategy, proactively addressing concerns about women’s safety and the 2012 Olympics.
7. Met Support
Behind the front line, we need to get the basic foundations of the organisation right. Our finances, our buildings, our technology and our processes all need to be in tiptop shape so we can concentrate all our efforts and resources on our core business. The MPA controls a budget of over £3.5 billion: the Met would probably be a FTSE 100 company if it were floated on the Stock Exchange. This places a massive responsibility on us to drive out waste and improve value for money for the tax payer.
Finance and budgets
The Met has made some progress recently in getting its house in order. The financial control environment is growing in effectiveness and the annual budget cycle is now embedded. More work is needed however to apply those controls to the capital programme. The levers are thus in place for us to start to squeeze out the efficiencies we all know exist. In a tightening financial environment we will have little choice but to extract that excess both to build resilience and direct resources to the front line.
The recent HMIC strategic resource leverage sets out a number of challenges for the Authority and the Met, including ensuring the Met uses its resources effectively compared to other metropolitan forces. Workforce development remains a key issue and for the MPA this means ensuring there is a clear understanding of the consequences of investing in police officers and/or PCSOs, not just in terms of cost but also in terms of operational police numbers and flexible deployment. We want to encourage innovation and challenge, and will ask the Met to identify areas to canvass for a change in legislation so as to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and activities arising either from the demands of current legislation or simply as a result of the risk averse environment that society has created. We want to cut through duplication of effort and ensure that the amount of time spent fighting crime is maximised.
Having an estate of buildings that are efficient, well located and properly equipped is vital for effective crime fighting. We are reviewing our estates programme, particularly in light of community feedback and the current economic environment. We want to look carefully at the funding of this element of the capital programme, and where possible accelerate its rollout with the judicious use of debt and disposals. Part of our drive for greater visibility in London will be addressing the diaspora of front counters in the boroughs.
We must make sure that the public of London benefit from value for money procurement by the Met, working with other partners and police forces to negotiate the best possible contracts, not just in economic terms but also taking account of diversity, environmental imperatives and sustainability. The Authority will constantly be challenging the Met to show why something has to be done in the way proposed, asking whether there are others better able to meet the requirement, if it can be done in a different way, or even does it have to be done at all? This will apply to all aspects of the business and we will also ask the same questions of our partners and ourselves.
Information systems and technology
Technology has the potential to ‘free up’ time – whether it is through recognised means such as hand held computers or single data input, improved information and intelligence leading to better analysis and decision making, or newer technologies that allow enhanced facial recognition or data sharing across partners and businesses. We want to implement more efficient channels for doing business with citizens and partners.
Technology, alongside forensic support, offers the opportunity to achieve significant savings and productivity improvements, and we will be scrutinising Met plans on their savings and investment proposals to maximise gains ‘upfront’.
We will cut out the laborious process of re-entering the same data three or four times when dealing with the same case and we will ensure the Met has the capacity and capability to exploit technological advantages to get well ahead of the criminals.
8. Met Standards
Managing all of these programmes and driving change in such a huge organisation will not be easy. We recognise that we need a tool to incentivise high standards, professionalism and cooperation. We also need a signal to our people that they have done as we asked and that we recognise their achievement.
We will therefore introduce in the Met a programme of assessment across all Borough and Operational Command Units (BOCUs and OCUs). Following a review of their capacity to deliver performance and demonstrate leadership they may achieve the new ‘Met Standard’. The process will be conducted by a peer reviewer from another BOCU or OCU, a public sector reviewer from a London local authority, and a private sector reviewer. The MPA and the Commissioner will jointly commission, assess and follow up the reviews.
We will also introduce an MPA recognition scheme so we can publically reward outstanding individual and team achievements, both within the Met and by partners.
The MPA is responsible for rigorously holding the Commissioner to account for delivering an effective and efficient police service. Ensuring that support mechanisms are in place to drive high standards of service delivery is key to achieving this. Success in achieving cultural change, high ethical standards and a more citizen-focused approach to doing business will support the delivery of this objective. Alongside this, the Authority aims to map out the assessment processes currently in place and to evaluate how effective these are in driving change.
How we will make this happen
Met Forward is not intended to embrace all that is contained within the Policing London Business Plan. It seeks to set a framework within which the plan will be delivered and to provide a set of work streams around which the MPA can restructure and coalesce with the Met.
We will develop an implementation programme to show what work is currently underway and what work is new, as well as identifying the MPA committee responsible for the governance and scrutiny of delivery.
We will take a root and branch look at our own organisation with a view to shaping our focus and delivering more effectively on our three priorities. We want to be an organisation that is more customer focussed and more responsive to new ways of working.
The MPA committees will drive the individual work programmes, identifying opportunities to share ideas, reduce duplication and cost, and actively learn and improve.
At meetings of the full Authority we will regularly report to London and to Londoners our progress and our successes.
Ultimately success will be judged by the people who live, work and visit London when:
- they believe there is less crime and criminality;
- they feel more confident about policing in London; and
- they recognise that money is being well spent.
How to contact us
We welcome feedback and if you have any comments to make about this report please write to:
The Chief Executive
Metropolitan Police Authority
10 Dean Farrar Street
You can also email us at: email@example.com
Tel: 020 7202 0202
Minicom: 020 7202 0173
Fax: 020 7202 0200
Other formats and languages
This document can be made available in audiocassette, Braille, large print, easy read, electronic (PDF), electronic (MSWord) and signed language video.
Additionally this document can be made available in the following languages:
For a copy, please contact the MPA at the address above.
The Metropolitan Police Authority:
- achieving real benefits for London
- making the police accountable to Londoners
- working in partnership to make London the safest major city in the world
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