The Metropolitan Police Service has submitted its response to the Home Office consultation on “Policing in the 21st Century“. Most of the twenty pages that make up the response are an extended whinge about what a nuisance it is to have to be accountable to the Metropolitan Police Authority. There is even a handy chart showing the burdens faced by the Met with the current oversight and scrutiny arrangements (it is obviously onerous that the Police have to put up with the interventions of the Surveillance Commissioner or the inquiries of the Independent Police Complaints Commission) and by far the largest box on the chart is reserved for the activities sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Surprise, surprise! The statutory body with responsibility for oversight and scrutiny requires information, involvement and response from the organisation it oversees.
And there in the bottom right hand corner of the chart is what the Met clearly regard as the killer item of proof that they are over-regulated: Joint Engagement Meetings. These are the meetings held with each London Borough – so, yes, there are 32 of them – which review the work of local crime and disorder partnerships. They have proved invaluable in sorting out local problems and improving joint working between local councils and the Police. What do the Met say about them:
“Hugely labour intensive.”
And whose idea were the Joint Engagement Meetings?
Go on – have a guess.
Yes, that’s right! They were the brainchild of Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse AM, current Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority and the person to whom Mayor Boris Johnson will delegate his powers as Policing and Crime Commissioner should the Government’s proposed legislation get through intact.
Kit Malthouse doesn’t forget these things. Possibly a career-limiting move for somebody.