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POLICE NUMBERS: SCHEME AGREED TO ACHIEVE BOROUGH WORKFORCE TARGETS ON TIME

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Members of the Metropolitan Police Authority have agreed a scheme to...
Members of the Metropolitan Police Authority have agreed a scheme to

ensure that boroughs will receive almost their full complement of

officers, in line with borough workforce targets, by 31 March 2003.

Previously at the authority meeting on 26 September, members warned

that police credibility would be damaged if a promise to introduce a

fairer distribution of officer numbers in London boroughs was not met

on time.

Following the decision of the co-ordination and policing committee

which met yesterday, MPA chair Toby Harris said:

'Members have agreed a scheme whereby the anticipated shortfall of

716 officers on borough will be reduced to just 74 by 31 March 2003.

In effect a shortfall of 74 officers means each borough will only be

2 or 3 officers short of their target.

'All the options presented to us by the Met involved both operational

and financial consequences. However Members chose the scheme that

involved the least detrimental effects and was the most realistic

operationally.

'Although the MPA was given an absolute assurance by the Met that the

new borough workforce targets for police officer numbers would be

achieved by 31 March 2003, current issues such as counter terrorism

initiatives and the newly formed Transport Operational Command Unit,

have made this unachievable. At the same time processing the

unprecedented high numbers of recruits at Hendon have proved that it

is as difficult to manage growth as it is to manage a reduction in

numbers, and this has taught us important lessons for the future.'

Members were presented with four options for achieving officer

numbers on boroughs. The option elected as the most workable and with

the least consequences (Option D) will involve taking in more

transferees from other police services than planned during the

current year and at the same time delaying, until next year, the

growth of specialist units, apart from Murder Squads, Trident teams

and Child Protection Units. These two actions are aimed at bringing

down the shortfall of officers from 716 to 74.

The Report 'Meeting borough workforce targets', with a full breakdown of the options involved,

is available on the MPA website.

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