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This page contains Met Forward Two Strand: Met Streets - delivering order, control and safety in the public realm

Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Met Streets - delivering order, control and safety in the public realm

1. Met Streets

Met Streets imageLondon is one of the safest cities in the world, but people need to feel genuinely safe and secure. We must ensure that people retain confidence in the Met to respond effectively to deliver order, control and safety on our streets. We will do this by ensuring that frontline policing continues to evolve and responds effectively and efficiently to the issues that matter most to Londoners.

Policing must be a collaborative process. We want to instil collective pride and ownership and encourage a genuine partnership between Londoners and the Met. We will do this by creating more opportunities for communities to get involved as crime fighters.

Territorial Policing development programme

The majority of the day-to-day policing of London is the responsibility of the 32 Borough Operational Command Units (BOCUs). Under the direction of Territorial Policing, these boroughs are responsible for a number of policing functions including neighbourhood policing, detention facilities, crime recording and the way the police respond to emergency calls. The Authority and the Met are committed to the 32 borough structure but there is considerable duplication with different ways of delivering the same service. The Met, with oversight from the Authority, is reviewing Territorial Policing, looking for opportunities to rationalise services and deliver them in a more effective and efficient manner. The benefits of this are immense - improved and consistent service delivery, improved capability and capacity to fight crime and better value for money. Central to the review is ensuring that Londoners get the best possible service. Delivering these changes will require collaborative working across the Met; including finance, HR and the estate.

The Authority will continue to scrutinise and challenge the Met, drawing on other delivery strands outlined in Met Forward Two to ensure that the strategic objectives of the programme - increased community confidence and satisfaction, reduced crime and anti-social behaviour, improved criminal justice outcomes and a reduction in overall costs - are being delivered. Critically, the Authority will oversee the delivery of a safe London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Authority will continue to challenge the Met to ensure that the Safer Neighbourhoods model remains fit for purpose and that resources are effectively deployed to respond to the crime and community safety priorities identified by Londoners.

Town centres attract a disproportionate volume of violent and acquisitive crime. Additional policing resources have been deployed into town centres to reduce crime and improve community confidence. The Authority will continue to challenge the effectiveness of the model to ensure it delivers reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour, increased public confidence, and value for money.

In order to achieve effective and long term sustainable reductions in crime in every Safer Neighbourhoods ward and town centre, it will be critical to work in partnership and pool resources and knowledge. The Authority will want to ensure that the Met focuses on opportunities to improve engagement and partnership with businesses, local authorities and communities to drive effective problem solving.

Anti-social behaviour

Tackling anti-social behaviour on our streets and transport networks, in town centres and parks, is one of Londoners’ key policing priorities. Failing to respond effectively has a detrimental impact on victims’ and communities’ quality of life. Safer Neighbourhoods teams have been instrumental in responding to these concerns.

The term anti-social behaviour can be confusing. We need to articulate what anti-social behaviour is and have a better understanding of its impact and consequences on communities. By doing this we can be more focused on delivering services that meet the needs of Londoners.

The Authority wants to see the Met using the information it has to enhance local accountability and act as a lever for joint working with communities. Getting this right will help build community confidence in policing and empower local people to get more involved in decision making.

The Authority will consider results of a wider national review of responses to anti-social behaviour and where necessary work with the Met to make changes.

Safer travel

Securing the safety of the transport network is critical to maintaining customer confidence and reducing the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. Outlined in A Safe Journey: The Mayor’s strategy to improve transport safety and security in London 2010-2013 are a number of pan-London objectives to improve safety on the transport network:

  •  reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on the public transport network;
  •  increase confidence in the safety and security of those travelling in London;
  •  reduce the number of Londoners injured on London’s roads as a result of crime and anti-social behaviour;
  •  improve cyclists’ safety and security through tackling crime and anti-social behaviour; and
  •  contribute to the step change in walking in London, through removing crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime as a barrier to walking.

The Authority will challenge the Met to ensure that together with other pan-London partners it delivers reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour and helps customers feel more confident about using London’s extensive transport network.

Visible and accessible policing

In light of the challenging economic climate the Authority and the Met are committed to doing everything possible to protect front line policing. However, the debate should not be focused solely on policing numbers, but on the effectiveness of what they are doing, how visible they are and if people believe that the police are open and approachable. For example, does the current shift system reflect policing/community demands? Are officers deployed and tasked effectively? Are we freeing-up officers from desk-based jobs that could be done by police staff? Has single patrolling worked to increase police presence on the streets and as a result do communities feel that the police are more open and approachable?

The Met is reviewing information systems and technological solutions to reduce duplication and bureaucracy, thereby enabling officers to be deployed in the right areas at the right time to fight crime. The Authority will work with the Met to review the value and effectiveness of each option.

Improving the way intelligence is shared is vital to improving police effectiveness. Results from shared intelligence pilots are promising and the Authority will continue to drive the Met to look at innovative and cost effective ways to improve crime fighting capacity and capability. Getting this right will be important, particularly as London faces one of its biggest policing challenges, delivering a safe and secure London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Met Specials and Volunteers

Following the Authority’s endorsement, serving as a Special Constable is now the primary route to recruitment as a full time police officer. The Met has made significant headway in increasing the number of Specials, (with some 5,000 officers at the end of March 2011,) each one bringing additional skills and community knowledge into policing. The Authority will ensure that the momentum is maintained and that there are plans to develop and support the Specials’ role. This will include a review of training and support given on borough and an analysis of why people leave the service.

There is an opportunity to engage more actively with the voluntary and community sectors, For example, local agreements could be utilised to recruit volunteers to join the Met Volunteers Programme. With that in mind the MPA will work with the Met to think more creatively about how it develops this programme.

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