Policing in London

Today was the Met Police Commissioner’s conference where senior bods in the Met (and the Metropolitan Police Authority) gathered to ‘build on our success’ – i.e. plot and plan the way forward.

Sir John Stevens gave his usual stirring story for boys (and girls) speech. He is an absolute master of rallying his troops and motivating them. He’s really more of a politician than most the politicians I know – and better at it.

Myself and local Haringey Commander, Stephen Bloomfield, got an honorary named mention for Muswell Hill police station (see my blog entry for 27 September).

There was much success for him. This included the new “Safer Neighbourhoods” program. Currently it applies in three wards in each London borough, putting six police personnel on our streets, ring-fenced from removal for any other policing purpose.

However, the roll-out of the program faces funding problems. And without a pan-London roll out, there’s a risk that crime is displaced to areas outside the scheme.

Next was a speech from the Chair of the MPA, Len Duval. I have a lot of time for Len – voted for him to be Chair in fact – and time is what you needed today. Len had been given a slot of 15 minutes. Now what you have to understand about the Met is it runs like clockwork to time (if only our rail system did the same). Len made good points – and then remade them – and then veered off at tangents – and then made them again. The upshot being that he overran his slot by about 25 minutes – thus throwing the whole schedule into disarray and losing his audience entirely. Hope someone close to him whispers in his ear for next time.