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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).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 – one year on

Report: 6
Date: 27 May 2010
By: Chief Executive


Met Forward is the MPA’s three year strategic mission outlining how the Authority wants the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to develop and perform. It presents a significant opportunity for the Authority to:

  • ensure the work programmes are focused on delivery that matter to Londoners;
  • raise awareness of the important role of the Authority in maintaining and delivering an effective police service for Londoners; and
  • strengthen members’ ability to perform their oversight and scrutiny function.

The purpose of this report is to highlight the progress of the Met Forward Programme one year on and to set out the next stage.

A. Recommendations

That the report be received.

B. Supporting information

Met Forward - Overview

1. Met Forward is the Authority’s three year strategic mission for London’s police, supporting the MPA’s oversight and scrutiny functions for the MPS and ensuring that key priorities are delivered.

Met Forward was developed from an analysis of performance and assessment of current and future opportunities and threats, together with Mayoral and government priorities and what London’s communities have made clear they want, Met Forward is divided into eight work streams, all of which are designed to contribute to:

  • fighting crime and reducing criminality;
  • increasing confidence in policing; and
  • giving better value for money.

2. The Met Forward work strands are –Met Streets, Met Specialist, Met Partners, Met Connect, Met People, Met Olympics, Met Support and Met Standards. The document reflects Londoners’ concerns for policing and sets out the Authority’s ambition to provide strong leadership, open and transparent accountability and effective working with partners and the community.

3. To support the delivery of Met Forward, the Authority has restructured and realigned staff and resources to deliver this ambitious programme of work.

4. Met Forward is a living document that will adapt to the changing priorities for Londoners. High profile events, such as the tragic death of Baby Peter and Ian Tomlinson can have a dramatic impact and impact on priorities for public bodies including the MPA and MPS. Met Forward is designed to adapt to changing priorities and will be refreshed on a regular basis to ensure the Authority continues to focus on the key issues that matter to Londoners.

5. Met Forward builds on the Authority’s relationship with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The current projects within Met Forward are at various stages of development. Some projects still need to be scoped while others are more mature and closer to the end of their lifecycle. This provides the capacity to progress new areas of work, respond to changing priorities and continue to deliver on existing projects.

6. Met Forward was complimented as an example of good practice in the recent joint inspection of police authorities by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Audit Commission.

Delivering the capability: the programme team

7. As part of the MPA restructure, a Met Forward team has been established. The team is putting in place systems to manage each of the projects in a consistent way, for example, the way staff recognise and manage risk, and is developing a performance management framework to flag any potential issues or concerns. The recent police authority joint inspection team (HMIC and the Audit Commission) highlighted that risk management is an area in which the Authority needs to improve. Met Forward has enabled the development of more formalised delivery structures and processes and a ‘Met Forward: Project Management toolkit’ has been developed to achieve standardisation across the Authority.

8. The MPAs Business Management Group acts as the Met Forward Programme Board and receives regular progress updates in the form of highlight reports. This has enabled staff to seek resolution when issues arise. A Benefits Management Strategy and Benefits Realisation Plan is also being developed which will help the Authority achieve real business benefits through a formal process of benefit identification, management, realisation and measurement.

Met Forward Projects - Summary of key deliverables

9. There are currently 40 projects within Met Forward. Progress on some of those projects is noted in the section below.

10. London Crime Reduction Board: The proposals for a MPA led London Crime Reduction Board are currently out for consultation with key stakeholders. There are significant benefits in establishing this board in terms of influencing and ensuring delivery with partners at a pan- London level. The Board would assist in achieving greater cohesion around different themes that currently appear disparate.

11. Civil Liberties Panel: The MPA’s panel completed an extensive scrutiny on public order policing following the events of G20. The MPA is working with the MPS to embed the recommendations from that scrutiny. The Panel has begun a review of the use of DNA within policing.

12. Joint Engagement Meetings (JEMs): Members have received a recent update on JEMs at Strategic and Operational Policing (SOP) committee. Each JEMs meeting has facilitated discussion and joint problem solving between the Authority, borough police, local authority partners and other stakeholders in relation to serious youth violence and anti social behaviour and drivers of public confidence. The JEMs model will continue to evolve and the forthcoming emphasis will be on approaches to tackling violent crime.

The JEMs process was one of just four police authority projects shortlisted for an Association of Police Authorities Recognising Excellence in Police Authorities Award 2009 for demonstrating good practice delivering collaboration in police authority business.

13. Borough Commanders: The appointment of borough commanders is hugely influential. They provide the leadership and drive to improve performance and influence key agencies, (including the local authority, health, prisons and the probation service) to respond collectively to the issues that matter most to Londoners. In light of concerns expressed about the length of the tenure of borough commanders, the Authority has been given assurances from the Commissioner that all newly appointed borough commanders, from July 2009, will now serve a minimum of three years in post unless there are exceptional circumstances. The MPA recognises the need for stability in this post to ensure public confidence in the role, to enable work with partners and communities to continue, and develop initiatives to fight crime and criminality.

The London City Charter recognised the need to ensure that local authorities are involved in the appointment of borough commanders. Local authority chief executives together with MPA link members are now consulted on each appointment. In addition, a borough commander job description has been drafted for members to consider. A career development programme is now also in place.

14. Dogs as weapons: Following continued pressure from the MPA, the MPS’s status dogs unit was created. The unit seized 1,155 dogs in 2009/10 and the unit continues to deliver training to magistrates to give them a better understanding of the impact dangerous dogs has on communities. Update report presented to SOP regarding the boarding arrangements for dangerous dogs.

15. MPA anti violence panel: The MPA initially established the Gangs Panel to review and drive activity in relation to gangs and gang related violence. However, it was felt that in order to engage partners more effectively, the issue of gangs needed to be looked at holistically and in the wider context of violent crime. In order to develop this agenda the MPS will establish a violent crime strategy of which gang related violence will be one strand.

16. Standardisation of Community Engagement Structure: As part of the MPAs continued commitment to developing effective borough level community engagement the funding application process has been streamlined and is focused on ensuring groups are delivering on and responding to the needs of the Authority. The Authority has allocated £1.7 million to borough- based Community and Police Engagement Groups, and given the need to ensure value for money, a financial ‘benchmarking’ system has been developed to identify variation in the average cost of delivery. Link engagement and partnership team officers will as part of their quarterly review process work with groups to bring spend within tolerated levels based on the average cost of delivery.

17. The Domestic and Sexual Violence Board (DSVB): In July 2009 the DSVB held its annual thematic sessions and for the first time invited external organisations to present. The Board also produced its first annual report in January 2010.The new sexual offences investigation command (SCD2) launched in September 2009, will provide an improved quality of service to victims. The Authority will continue its oversight around victim service and value for money.

18. Olympics and Paralympics Games: The 2012 games present significant policing and community safety challenges. The Olympic and Paralympic Sub-Committee continues to work with the MPS and external stakeholders to ensure that policing plans are robust and to budget.

19. Leadership: The MPA requires the MPS to demonstrate that they have in place an effective leadership development, talent management and succession planning programme for police officers and police staff. The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) published its Leadership Strategy on 1 April 2010. There was some concern that the strategy would be too prescriptive in terms of the allocation of training places to the MPS on the proposed mandatory leadership programme. The NPIA has now dropped the mandatory element of the course and the MPS continues to develop a coherent leadership development programme.

20. Hate Crime Forum (HCF): The Authority’s former race hate crime forum has been expanded to incorporate other forms of hate crime including homophobic crime and crimes against disabled people. The HCF was established to strengthen the Authority’s oversight and scrutiny of this important area of business.

21. Safer Neighbourhoods: Met Forward recognises that Safer Neighbourhoods teams continue to act as the bedrock of local crime fighting. The Authority is in the process of completing a scrutiny review into the current model, examining how Safer Neighbourhoods and partners currently communicate with each other and how community safety is promoted.

As a result of this scrutiny the Authority will be better informed about the delivery of the Safer Neighbourhoods model from both borough partners and MPS colleagues and the MPA will use those findings to inform the MPS / MPA on its analysis of safer neighbourhoods policing.

22. Value for Money: Significant budgeted cost savings need to be made - £140million in 2009/2010 and £125million in 2010/2011- without comprising front line policing. A significant amount of work is taking place to ensure the way the MPA purchases goods and services is as effective as possible. Doing this will not only save money but will save on duplication and effort. There are significant opportunities to use technological innovation to avoid duplication, reduce time wasted and redirect officers back into our communities. Progress continues to be made including ensuring the MPA has a robust procurement re-let strategy and ISIT strategy to ensure that efficiency savings and value for money are being secured.

23. Town Centre and Transport Policing: A significant amount of resources have been directed to help make our town centres and transport networks safer. There are 32 safer transport teams in place and 23 town centre police teams now in place. The MPA has agreed an initial performance monitoring framework to help ensure that those teams are delivering reductions in crime, increasing public confidence and giving us value for money.

Equality and diversity implications

24. Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) training was delivered to members and staff in February to help facilitate the completion and/or understanding of the EIA process and its relationship to Met Forward projects. Quarterly reviews will be undertaken by the Met Forward programme team and equality and diversity leads to ensure that any actions identified through the EIA process are progressed and that the EIAs continue to remain relevant.

Moving forward

25. To ensure that Met Forward continues to deliver there are a number of critical success factors, including;

  • active and committed leadership,
  • focus on benefits that the programme will bring,
  • effective and robust stakeholders engagement plan to keep people involved and engaged,
  • capacity and capability of staff to deliver; and
  • transparency and accountability for delivery.

26. The Authority has done a significant amount of work to progress projects / work streams and these will continue to be developed. In addition the following work strands will now be taken forward;

  • criminal justice;
  • Met Standards;
  • value for money framework;
  • talking to each other; and
  • organised crime.

In partnership with stakeholders and in consultation with the MPS, Met Forward will be refreshed to ensure developments are reflected direction for the coming year.

27. The equalities strand of Met Forward will be developed following on from the outcome and recommendations from the independent Race and Faith inquiry. Other strands of Met Forward will be influenced particularly by the Met People work strand.

28. Met Forward was reflected in the 2010- 2011 Policing Plan. The Authority will work with the MPS to ensure that there continues to be a clear synergy and link between Met Forward and the Policing Plan.

C. Race and equality impact

1. Whilst there are no equalities and diversity issues specifically relating to this report, it will be a requirement that all project managers complete an Equality Impact Assessment.

D. Financial implications

2. Met Forward delivery costs are assimilated within existing MPA budgets.

E. Legal implications

3. There are no specific legal implications as a consequence of this report.

F. Background papers

  • Met Forward: Focusing on fighting crime: the MPA mission

G. Contact details

Report author(s): Susan Doran, Met Forward Programme Team

For more information contact:

MPA general: 020 7202 0202
Media enquiries: 020 7202 0217/18

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