PEEL report: Met Police requires improvement, says HMICFRS
Merging boroughs and control room staffing problems have seen the Met Police tumble two ratings in the 2017 PEEL efficiency inspections.
HMIs rated the UK's biggest force as requiring improvement this year, after last year judging it to be good.
The report into its performance notes that there has been a huge increase in calls to the force and says "some people are not receiving the service that they need from the police".
The force has been trialling merging borough areas in Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, as well as Camden and Islington.
The impact of this has been criticised by local authorities, and civilian staff nearly went on strike over the impact it had on them.
The HMICFRS report adds: "Initial response times in the two ‘pathfinder’ boroughs [sic] that are piloting the force’s programme to improve local policing have also increased, partly as a result of the transition to new ways of working.
"Systems for giving feedback are widely used but are not regarded highly by the workforce."
PoliceOracle.com reports that elsewhere it is noted that officers in the pathfinder boroughs are taking longer to respond to incidents because response personnel are having to take on investigation of cases they are called out to.
And the report says the Met communications command has 120 vacancies alongside high levels of sickness, staff turnover and difficulty recruiting new staff, while it experienced a huge increase in calls.
In April, 83 per cent of 999 calls and just 26 per cent of 101 calls were answered on time - both against a target of 90 per cent.
It does say the force is taking immediate action to respond to the issue.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: “We believe that the Metropolitan Police Service requires improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.
"This is disappointing, as last year the force was assessed as ‘good’.
"Our assessment this year is principally based on how the Met understands the current demand for its services and how this is likely to change in the future.
"An increase in 999 calls and staffing difficulties in the communications command have contributed to a reduction in call-handling performance."
He notes the force has a "big challenge" in cutting £400 million from its budget in the next three years.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alison Newcomb said: “The Met has a tough and challenging job to do.
"The last 12 months have been particularly challenging and the service is proud of the way its officers and staff had responded to the huge pressures faced.
“The Met has a bold transformation programme to improve effectiveness and keep pace with changing demands coupled with big savings to make.
"This will be very challenging to deliver when set against the high operational tempo of London. But the Met remains determined to do so.”
See the full story from PoliceOracle.com here https://www.policeoracle.com/news/investigation/2017/Nov/08/peel-2017--met-police-requires-improvement_96232.html