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Techie1

Met to continue borough merger pilots despite 'challenges'

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Techie1    10

Force is pressing ahead with scheme which some officers say is turning them away from the job.

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The mergers have already pushed control room staff to threaten strike action.

A Metropolitan Police pilot scheme to merge London boroughs into single command units will continue despite it causing some officers to “hate” going to work.

Towards the end of last year Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering all merged into one with Camden and Islington also combining.

These Basic Command Units (BCUs) are overseen by a chief superintendent, with four superintendents each working under them.

Vehicles, technology, personnel and buildings are shared between the boroughs within the units in an attempt to save the Met money.

Back in November last year before the scheme was launched Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons, who is in charge of the pilot, said: “Change is important for the Met to remain operationally effective in the changing policing landscape.”

The chairman of the London Assembly police and crime committee expressed concerns about the mergers and insisted the measure should not be “driven by cost cutting”.

Now a number of officers working under the new arrangements appear to be unhappy about their new working conditions, voicing their concerns via social media.

At the beginning of July a leaked paper appeared to imply the full programme of the controversial mergers will go ahead despite the pilots not yet being fully assessed.

Later the same month control room staff threatened to go on strike during the Notting Hill Carnival over the stresses Pathfinder was putting them under and dangers it posed to the public. 

The PCS union said at the time: “We have been pushing for months for improvements to new ways of working that we feared would compromise the safety of staff and members of the public.

“Members had been telling us about the increased stress of working the new ‘Pathfinder’ system and the risks they posed to the public.”

The strike was eventually avoided after the Met provided “assurances” to increase the amount of staff by 135 and invest in new computer systems.

Despite the issues and controversy caused by the pilot the force is determined to press ahead and denied rumours they were rolling back any of the units.

A spokesman said: “The Basic Command Unit pathfinders, or test sites, in Camden and Islington (North Central Area Command Unit) and Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (East Area Command Unit) are ongoing, after going fully live at the end of April 2017.

“The pathfinders are a genuine test and the Met continues to learn from the way they are operating.

“Each of the pathfinders have thrown up different challenges, and the Met are adapting the model to overcome these challenges.

“Neither pathfinder site is being rolled back but we are making changes to make the model more efficient.

“The purpose of the pathfinder sites is to test the model and make changes as necessary before we roll it out more widely.

“The Mayor and the Commissioner will together, towards the end of 2017, consider the evidence from the Pathfinders and the views of stakeholders, before determining the manner of any further roll-out across London.”

 View on Police Oracle

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Zulu 22    3,004

And, some thought Cressida Dick was the Bees knees. Demoralising the troops is not a very clever strategy.

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Reasonable Man    1,019
And, some thought Cressida Dick was the Bees knees. Demoralising the troops is not a very clever strategy.

Never miss a chance to have a dig but seriously?
Commissioner Dick took charge on 17 April 2017 and the mergers were implemented two weeks later. The article says that the DAC in charge was talking about the scheme back in November and something on the scale would have been months, if not years in planning.
Do you think Ms Dick should have just said, 'OK, the staff don't like change so I will just put it all back as it was.'?

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Zulu 22    3,004

If it was years the Ms Dick would have beeb fully aware. She could have said "No"  But as usual it will be ignore the public, they are here to serve us, not the other way round.

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oldcopper    1,516

No matter what the truth of this issue, or whether it will prove good or bad, I have no doubt that money is at the root of the matter. 

Due to the fincncial situation in which our nation finds itself, cuts in the amounts of cash given to all parts of the public sector have to be made and it appears that the Poilce Service is not to be excluded from these strictures. While sympathising with HMG in its financial predicament I cannot but think that cutting the finances of the Police Service will, in the long term, be a false economy as policing will gradually become increasingly erodied and lawlessness will gradually increase with the inevitable costs.

As I have said before, HMG should give priority to its principal functions of protecting the country and its inhabitants and exclude polcing from the worst parts of cuts on the public sector.  

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