The HMIC burden – a cost that must be published

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary are expected to publish their “Making best use of police time” report this coming week. I’ve been commenting about this for some time (see for example here). I have had several PCCs and senior police officers support my call for HMIC to recognise (and publish) details of the substantial cost burden on forces that result from these HMIC inspections – I, for one, am not convinced that these substantial HMIC demands are “the best use of police time”.

Just a few days ago, the Bedfordshire PCC tweeted about this:

Olly Martins Burden of HMIC Inspection

 

I have a personal interest to declare here: not only am I Chief Executive of CoPaCC (which monitors police governance), but I also live in Bedfordshire (so I have a keen interest in “best use of police time” here in the county). So I’m very supportive of the stance, set out in this tweet, that Olly Martins is taking with HMIC.

 

I’ve previously suggested that, once the HMIC Inspection report is published, forces should publish the cost of meeting HMIC’s request for information. That is, if HMIC doesn’t itself publish this information (which I strongly believe it should – but probably won’t).

We’ll know soon whether HMIC have listened – or decided to ignore these entirely fair representations. Given HMIC Chief Tom Winsor’s remarks to Olly Martins (reported in his tweet above) – it’s a great shame that HMIC themselves aren’t more accountable.

The parable of the “mote and the beam” comes to mind.

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ACPO decide ACPO’s future – or so it appears…

The Association of Chief Police Officers today published a “statement on the future of ACPO“. Here’s an extract:

ACPO statement on future - 160714

 

The statement refers to a review by General Sir Nick Parker, which was commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

There are several elements of particular note in this ACPO statement. Here’s a couple:

  • the complete absence of any mention of PCCs. Surprising, given it’s PCCs that will – at the very least - have a heavy influence on ACPO’s future;
  • a vote to house a new body “within, but independent of, a host force”.

Which “host force”? Maybe a PCC will volunteer ‘their’ force – but there are probably more local disadvantages than positives in their doing so. Maybe the Met? But they’ve recently publicly declared that they’re ‘just for Londoners‘. How about the National Crime Agency? Well, that makes some sense – but it’s not a “force” in the traditional meaning of the word.

I think there’s another option. PCCs – rather than ACPO – should invite the British Transport Police (BTP) to host the new body. The BTP have national responsibilities, plus a tried-and-tested governance mechanism through the British Transport Police Authority. Often the ‘forgotten force’, they have over the last few years made very significant strides forward.

PCCs – over to you…

UPDATE [Wednesday 16th July, 12.30pm]: here, for reference, is the APCC’s related press release, just published.

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Metropolitan Police: “Just for Londoners”?

The Metropolitan Police has today announced plans to “just recruit Londoners”.

However, the Met Police also has extensive national policing responsibilities, such as on counter terrorism.

As the Met Police now seem to accept that they are there “just for Londoners”, is it time to accept the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation to “strip the Met Police of counter-terror duties”?

Perhaps the Home Affairs Select Committee will make that very point to the Home Secretary when she gives evidence at this afternoon’s HASC meeting…

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Ministry of Justice social media on #LocalHelpForVictims

The Ministry of Justice has been following up its announcement of £12million in awards to PCCs with some social media publicity for a selection of these awards. There are some interesting features associated with this publicity – but I’m going to refrain from commenting until it appears that the Ministry has completed its campaign.

Here, at time of writing this blog, are the Ministry’s promoted awards to date…

Thursday 3rd July: Derbyshire (Facebook and Twitter)

Derbyshire MoJ award 2014

 

Friday 4th July: Suffolk (Facebook and Twitter)

Suffolk MoJ award 2014

Monday 7th July: Surrey (Facebook and Twitter)

Surrey MoJ award 2014

 

Wednesday 9th July: Merseyside (Facebook and Twitter)

Merseyside MoJ award 2014

 

 

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“Keep politics out of policing”: the sequel…?

The “Local Government Innovation Taskforce”, commissioned for the Labour Party’s Policy Review, has today published its “Final Report: People-powered public services”. Ed Miliband has written on this in the Guardian, under the heading “The future is local – if Labour is elected”.

The report and associated article contain important implications for the Police and Crime Commissioner model of police governance. For example, from page 5 of the Taskforce report:

Local Government Innovation Taskforce Report p5

 

The “local authority Policing Boards” were first proposed (alongside two alternative approaches to policing governance) by Lord Stevens’ Review of Policing (page 17):

Lord Stevens Report p17

One consequence of such a “Policing Board” approach would almost inevitably be much greater direct control by the two main political parties over policing governance. Currently there are 16 Conservative, 13 Labour and 12 Independent PCCs, elected in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November 2012. Although there are many councils with “no overall control”, the “leaders of each local authority” (i.e. the proposed members of any new Policing Boards) are currently predominantly Labour or Conservative. So almost every Policing Board would be made up of Labour and Conservative party-sponsored Local Authority Leaders, with very few (if any) independents, or indeed councillors of any other political party.

“Keep politics out of policing” – the campaign message of many an Independent PCC candidate – resonated with a significant proportion of the public (and, in many cases, with police officers and staff) back in November 2012. Might Independent PCCs be tempted to resurrect that battle-cry?

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Ministry of Justice Awards to PCCs – some analysis…

The Ministry of Justice have today announced “£12 million of innovative technologies and specialist services, funded by offenders, to support victims of crime”. Some analysis in a moment – but first some observations on the quality of the announcement. Firstly, the names of four PCCs were originally spelled incorrectly in the Ministry of Justice announcement. They’ve corrected these after I drew the errors to their attention. The relevant PCCs: Ann Barnes, Clive Loader, Christopher Salmon and Anthony Stansfeld:

 

MoJ Anne Barnes misprint  MoJ Clive Load misprint   MoJ Christoper Salmon misprint MoJ Anthony Stansfield misprint

 

Next, the total of £12,542,747.62 doesn’t seem to match the “sum of all the parts” - as far as I can tell, there’s a difference of £274.73. Not the end of the world – but, combined with the “misspellings” above, it doesn’t inspire confidence.

OK, now some analysis. Where Offices of Police and Crime Commissioners (OPCCs) have been given shared awards, I have divided these equally amongst the two or three OPCCs. I’ve treated the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) as an OPCC – as have the Ministry of Justice in making these awards.

Five OPCCs have not received any MoJ Award. These five are: Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Gloucestershire, Gwent and South Yorkshire.

Awards range from £30,000 (Lincolnshire) to £2.36million (MOPAC). Those PCCs attracting awards will on average receive £338,985.

On average, a Conservative PCC will receive £364,816, a Labour PCC £291,454, and an Independent PCC will get £212,639. Taking into account the different populations in each force area, a Conservative PCC’s electorate have attracted £255.34 per 1000 residents, with comparable figures of £214.15 for a Labour PCC’s electorate and £213.55 for an Independent PCC’s electorate.

Citizens in Cambridgeshire have fared best, with each Cambridgeshire member of the public “better off” by about 49 pence. That is (in the table below), £492.86 “per thousand population”. Others doing relatively well out of these awards are Dorset, Leicestershire, Cleveland, Surrey and South Wales.

Of course, all these figures depend on the Ministry of Justice’s data being correct (let’s overlook their misprints). And it’s possible that I, too, have erred in some way. But I have doublechecked my analysis. Do please let me know if you spot any errors that I may have made…

Force Force pop’n 000 Party MoJ award (£) Shared awards (pro rata) Total (£) £ per 000 pop’n
Cambridgeshire 700 C 345000 345,000.00 492.86
Dorset 710.5 Ind 299000 21,967.67 320,967.67 451.75
Leicestershire 900 C 398045 398,045.00 442.27
Cleveland 554 Lab 236900 236,900.00 427.62
Surrey 1067.2 Ind 450109.64 450,109.64 421.77
South Wales 1227.2 Lab 500000 500,000.00 407.43
Norfolk 859.4 Ind 315282 18183 333,465.00 388.02
Suffolk 678 C 244842 18183 263,025.00 387.94
North Wales 675.7 Ind 258450.8 258,450.80 382.49
North Yorkshire 813 C 303200 303,200.00 372.94
Lancashire 1500 Lab 545000 545,000.00 363.33
Devon & Cornwall 1650 C 559269.65 21,967.67 581,237.32 352.27
West Mercia 1190 Ind 395000 395,000.00 331.93
MOPAC 7400 C 2360000 2,360,000.00 318.92
Nottinghamshire 785.8 Lab 228175 228,175.00 290.37
Greater Manchester 2500 Lab 720481 720,481.00 288.19
Northamptonshire 640 C 180000 180,000.00 281.25
West Midlands 2800 Lab 703488.28 703,488.28 251.25
Avon & Somerset 1500 Ind 374717 374,717.00 249.81
Dyfed-Powys 500 C 121200 121,200.00 242.40
Durham 595.3 Lab 142814 142,814.00 239.90
Northumbria 1400 Lab 306405.52 306,405.52 218.86
Staffordshire 1062.5 C 220000 220,000.00 207.06
Warwickshire 525.5 Ind 107373 107,373.00 204.33
Thames Valley 2100 C 373000 373,000.00 177.62
Essex 1600 C 276671 276,671.00 172.92
Sussex 1500 C 250000 250,000.00 166.67
Wiltshire 625 C 73806 21,967.67 95,773.67 153.24
Hertfordshire 1500 C 227500 227,500.00 151.67
Humberside 1140.2 C 137053 137,053.00 120.20
Derbyshire 1000 Lab 99500 99,500.00 99.50
West Yorkshire 2108 Lab 200000 200,000.00 94.88
Kent 1650 Ind 149861 149,861.00 90.82
Merseyside 1360 Lab 93650 12500 106,150.00 78.05
Cheshire 980 C 57677 12500 70,177.00 71.61
Hampshire 1900 Ind 131733 131,733.00 69.33
Lincolnshire 750 Ind 30000 30,000.00 40.00
Cumbria 500 C 0 0.00 0.00
Gloucestershire 564 Ind 0 0.00 0.00
Gwent 556.6 Ind 0 0.00 0.00
Bedfordshire 582.6 Lab 0 0.00 0.00
South Yorkshire 1280 Lab 0 0.00 0.00

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Connect the Met

The Metropolitan Police advertised a vacancy for the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff in yesterday’s Sunday Times Appointments section:

 

ST Appointments MPS Chief of Staff

The vacancy was, at time of writing this blog, also advertised on the Met Police vacancies page, with further information provided in an Information Pack.

The advert and associated materials provide a wealth of information, not just for those wanting to apply for the vacancy. Let me illustrate why:

1. There’s no mention of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, or of Police and Crime Commissioners themselves. It’s truly remarkable that the Met Police don’t seem to count PCCs or the APCC as amongst their key stakeholders.

2.  The advert states “you’ll control the Commissioner’s media profile”. Well, the media themselves may have something to say about that – but I was more struck by something else. The Met Police Commissioner has a media profile very substantially greater than the politician to whom he answers – namely Stephen Greenhalgh, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. And he deems it worth employing someone to “control” it. In almost every other force in England and Wales, the elected politician – the PCC – has the greater profile. And I only say “almost” to cover instances where the elected politician is, in my view, not doing their job properly by not seeking fully to engage with the public.

There appears to be a very significant “governance” divide opening up between the Metropolitan Police, and every other police force in England and Wales. The illustration above may be trivial – but the wider consequences could be very significant.

The headline for the recruitment advert – “Connect the Met” – could be prescient.

 

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