Last Sunday’s revelations in The Sunday Times that the National Police Improvement Agency has spent £750,000 on repairing an ornamental bridge (overlooked by the grace-and-favour flat provided to the NPIA’s Chief Executive, Peter Neyroud) come at a bad time for the Agency. I am told that patience is rapidly running out with the failures of the NPIA to deliver the improvements promised by its own name.
Senior police officers apparently never have a good word to say about the Agency and civil servants roll their eyes when its name is mentioned.
The Conservative Party – after a flurry of Freedom of Information Act requests about the costs of the NPIA – have put it on their A-list of candidates for the Quango-cull in the (remote) event of their being in Government after the General Election.
And my spies tell me that current Home Office Ministers have signaled their limited confidence in the Chair of the Agency, Peter Holland (a failed candidate for Chair of the Association of Police Authorities) and “Chief Constable” Neyroud (who distinguished himself at a Home Office Christmas Party two years ago by being the only police officer to turn up in uniform) by only renewing their contracts of appointment for a short period.
The problem that no-one has yet solved is what is to be done – in the event of the NPIA’s demise – about the important functions that it is supposed to carry out. After all, somebody does need to get a strategic grip of national police technology procurement and the training of senior police officers cannot be left to chance ….