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Met Partners - supporting partnerships to fight crime

4. Met Partners

Met Partners imageThe Met is just one piece in the crime fighting jigsaw. The job of the Met must be to focus on delivering front line policing but we must work with our partners to deliver a challenging preventative agenda to protect our most vulnerable communities. Collectively we must do more with less, but this creates an opportunity to refocus resources and redefine responsibilities to deliver on joint priorities.

London Crime Reduction Board

The LCRB will streamline the existing boards and strengthen relationships between criminal justice organisations, crime prevention and community safety activity. It will identify priority crime issues that key public services will work together to tackle, coordinate funding programmes, and maximise the value from each organisation’s limited resources through joint planning and delivery. Effective partnership working at a regional and borough level is critical to deliver long term policing and community safety solutions. It will also help highlight any potential risks to delivery and identify joint solutions and action.

The Authority’s Joint Engagement Meetings (JEMs) model will be developed further to support the analytical capabilities of the LCRB’s strategic priority setting process. Informed by thematic trends identified through the strategic assessment process, JEMs will be one of the tools used to facilitate joint action between borough and regional partners. Negotiations are continuing with central government to determine how funding could be dispersed through the LCRB to help deliver more coordinated action and value for money.

Valuing partnerships

Reducing crime is not solely the responsibility of the police. This responsibility is shared across a number of agencies including CSPs, criminal justice agencies and with communities across London. The Authority recognises that the Met provides an invaluable contribution to local and regional partnerships. It contributes resources, skills, creativity, knowledge and expertise that enable partnerships to deliver an improved quality of service.

The local and pan-London partnership landscape is evolving. In an effort to make efficiency savings, local authorities are considering a number of options including outsourcing, co-location of services and borough mergers. There are potential challenges in terms of information sharing, continuity of service delivery, problem solving and joint resourcing. The removal of centrally imposed partnership targets, including Local Area Agreements and the single confidence indicator, provides an opportunity to focus on local issues identified by partners and communities. The Authority will challenge the Met to:

  • ensure that the Met’s involvement in partnership working is effective and delivering value for money;
  •  identify, manage and escalate risks to policing as a consequence of changes to partnerships; and
  •  identify and take advantage of opportunities to drive performance.

Pan-London issues will be escalated to the LCRB for consideration.


Reducing the harm caused by violent crime in the public and private realm is a significant issue for the Authority, Met, partners and Londoners. The Authority will ensure that any areas of vulnerability in relation to Met delivery are effectively dealt with. We will ensure the relevant departments in the Met work better together so there is a coordinated approach to reducing violence.

The Authority recognises that the Met cannot deal with this issue on its own. Joint working across a number of different agencies, looking to long term holistic solutions, is essential. The Authority, with the LCRB, will oversee the development of a strategic pan-London Anti-Violence Board and strategy that looks not just at enforcement but at prevention, intervention and engagement.

Serious youth violence and gangs

This continues to be a significant issue for Londoners and the Authority will ensure that the Met continues to focus resources on this issue. The Authority will monitor the Met’s internal delivery structures and plans to suppress gang activity and reduce the harm caused by serious youth violence, including a review of the Met Anti-Violence Strategy. The Authority will ensure that the Met delivers a service that is culturally sensitive in light of the disproportionate impact that this issue has on specific communities in London.

The Authority will progress this agenda with partners at the pan-London Anti-Violence Board, the LCRB and through the Mayoral Time for Action programme.

Engaging with young people and empowering them to make the right decisions is crucial. Schemes like the Met Volunteer Cadets and the Met Black Police Association VOYAGE Programme (Voice of Youth and Genuine Empowerment) can help strengthen engagement with young people and empower and develop their confidence to make the right decisions. The Authority will work with the Met to ensure that they are targeting the right young people and making a positive impact on their lives.

Use of weapons including knife and gun enabled crime

We will continue to push the Met to reduce knife enabled crime, driving service improvements across the organisation to enable delivery of an effective and consistent response to knife and gun enabled crime. Community support for the use of these tactics, including stop and search, is critical. The Authority will challenge the Met to think more creatively about how it engages communities, including the more proactive use of community observers, and how it involves young people.

Although the volume of gun enabled crime is relatively low, the impact on communities is significant. The removal of weapons on the streets of London, together with working effectively with communities to gather intelligence, is critical. The Authority will challenge the Met to ensure that it is doing all that it can in these areas.

Dogs as weapons

The creation of the Met Status Dogs Unit has provided additional policing capacity to focus on this issue. The Authority will look to the Met to continue developing the capability and capacity of the unit. Effective policing is, however, just one aspect of the problem solving process. With partners, the Authority will continue to lobby for changes in legislation to bring clarity to current arrangements, which will then allow the Met to reduce the menace caused by dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners and handlers. The Authority will work with the Met and partners to explore criminal justice solutions to reduce spiralling kennel costs.

Violence against women

The Authority’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Board (DSVB) will finalise its scrutiny of borough responses to domestic and sexual violence by April 2011. The Authority will then review how the DSVB can deliver more targeted oversight, looking at the broader spectrum of violence against women offences and supporting the delivery of the Mayoral Violence against Women Strategy, The Way Forward programme, and the Mayor’s strategy to improve transport safety and security in London 2010–2013. The Authority will continue to challenge the Met to respond to and reduce the harm caused by the trafficking of women and young girls, particularly in light of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where experience indicates that trafficking may increase in host countries.
The Met has improved its investigation of rape and serious sexual offences. However, more could be done to improve the quality of service that victims receive, from either officers first at the scene or those on front counter duty, when they first report a crime. The Authority will hold the Met to account for improved service delivery supported by a clear performance framework.

Public protection arrangements

The Authority has increased its intrusive analysis of the delivery of Met public protection arrangements, including responses to child protection and the management of serious, violent and sexual offenders delivered through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). With the approach of the Olympics, the Authority will increase its focus on trafficking and organised crime. The tragic case of the Pilkington family in Leicestershire has also highlighted that more could be done to work collaboratively to identify and support vulnerable adults and London can learn from such cases.

The Authority will continue to challenge the Met’s investigation of crime, and drive service improvements to better protect our more vulnerable young people and adults from harm and exploitation.

The Authority recognises that the Met alone cannot respond effectively without the support of other agencies, including local authorities and criminal justice agencies. In the light of current financial constraints the Met and its partners will need to think more creatively about how services are delivered to protect the most vulnerable. Where external partnership blockages to effective delivery are identified, the Authority will facilitate joint action through the LCRB.

Hate crime

Targeting an individual as a result of their race, faith, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation is not acceptable. The Authority’s Hate Crime Forum will work with the Met to improve the way it identifies and supports repeat victims and targets offenders.

Offender management and criminal justice solutions

The Authority will challenge the Met to improve the way it targets the most prolific and priority offenders in a more systematic and joined up way, making best use of intelligence systems to reduce the harm that offenders cause.

The Met is only one piece in the criminal justice jigsaw. In order to deal effectively with prolific and priority offenders a number of agencies need to work together, including the courts, local authorities, prisons and the Met. Whilst we continue to have direct oversight of the Met’s approach, and will require them to think creatively about their approach to offender management, we will work with others through the LCRB to focus on offender management in a more coordinated and effective way.

The criminal justice system is a complex network of agencies, with substantial public funding, operating under increasing pressure. However, the different parts of the system are not always pursuing the same goals or contributing effectively to an agreed overarching purpose. The Mayor’s London Crime Reduction Board (LCRB) will explore the financial incentives model which aims to share savings made with participating partners, providing a financial incentive to reduce reoffending.

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