Met 'Could Make Huge Cutbacks on Waste' ; Millions Spent on Risk Management and Back Office Work, Says Report

Article excerpt

THE Met can make millions of pounds of savings a year without damaging public safety and the effectiveness of policing, it was claimed today.

A London Assembly report insists that government cuts are as much "an opportunity as a hindrance" and highlights areas in which it believes money is being wasted.

It argues that too much time and money is spent on "risk management" and calls for a reduction in the size of specialist units and greater efficiency in back office functions.

Further savings could be found by allowing civilian staff to take over more duties from uniformed officers.

A 20 per cent cut in government funding for the police by 2014/ 15 has led to a Pounds 163 million reduction in the Met's budget this year and fewer officers. Some police leaders and politicians have warned that these cuts could increase crime levels.

But the report claims that focusing purely on police numbers and spending is a flawed way of assessing the service to the public. It states: "There are opportunities for the Met to find workforce efficiencies that can make a sizeable contribution to savings requirements."

Large savings could be made by "reviewing the size and resources given to specialist units; removing duplication, improving workforce management tools, and making better use of technology".

The report also recommends "fundamentally rethinking the police's approach to risk and the use of resources used to minimise it". …