New personal MPS structure will put victims first
Over the next 12 months the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will undergo reforms in the way policing is delivered by scrapping the 32-borough model and merging them into 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs).
Over the next 12 months the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will undergo reforms in the way policing is delivered by scrapping the 32-borough model and merging them into 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs). The force says the BCUs each led by a chief superintendent who will be the BCU commander will deliver the same core policing functions, but in a more consistent way. 1 Due to varying sizes of the 32 boroughs, the current model limits the MPSs flexibility to meet new policing challenges and makes it difficult to manage demand. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the new reform is a decision driven by cuts to the MPSs budget, as the force must identify £325 million of savings in the next three years. The MPS is expected to shift from a strategic target of 32,000 officers to an average of 30,000 by April. Using some of the money saved through the reforms, the MPS has pledged to invest more money into other areas of policing such as building on the success of Safer Neighbourhoods. In BCUs, there will be more officers working with young people, educational establishments and care homes, and the management of issues such as anti-social behaviour and licensing will be sorted into one team to ensure closer collaboration with local authorities. The MPS will also introduce multi-agency hubs where officers and child safeguarding professionals will work together to prevent harm to those with mental health issues or those who go missing. Under the new reforms, specialist officers and detectives will be deployed directly to the scene of serious incidents at an earlier stage, meaning the investigation strategy can be set early on. And response officers will be trained to investigate some of the crimes they attend, rather than passing them onto other officers, which the force says will allow detectives to concentrate on more serious crimes and proactive work. Since 2017, the new model of policing has been tested in two pathfinder areas of London, allowing the force to make changes to the model and address falls in response times. Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge and Havering boroughs were combined in one area, while Camden and Islington were joined in the other. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons, who is leading the BCU model, said: “Local policing is at the heart of what the Met does every day, and we will improve it further by offering a service that is more personal and responsive to the needs of Londoners. “BCUs will allow us to put first victims of crime and those people who need us the most. Our new structure will also give us the resilience and consistency we need across the whole of London, so we can continue to respond to large scale incidents and meet the financial and operational challenges we are facing.” Mr Khan added: These changes are being made to ensure the Met is able to maintain the key services that Londoners require, despite the challenge of huge government spending cuts, which are driving down police numbers in London and across the country at a time when crime across England and Wales is rising in volume and complexity. I want to reassure Londoners that the new units have been designed with their safety as the absolute priority. That is why they have been tested since January 2017 and they will only be taken forward in a measured way. The new units will be designed for every area of London in order to meet the needs of local people and tackle local priorities, while I will continue to press the Government to deliver the funding needed to keep Londoners safe. The first boroughs to merge will be Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow; and Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth. The 12 BCUs are: Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Wandsworth Bromley, Croydon, Sutton Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow Lambeth, Southwark Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Islington, Barnet, Brent, Harrow New