Metropolitan Police HR director Martin Tiplady has praised the efforts of police officers and other staff in dealing with the increased security demands caused by the terror attacks.
Tiplady told Personnel Today how the HR team coped during a ‘nation-critical’ alert, in which resources were supplied from across the organisation to respond to the threat.
“We have a skilled tasking team – and line managers are involved with that – to work out what resources there are, and carry out workforce planning [based on] the level of response cover we need and how long it might go on for,” he said.
As well as the huge terror investigation and increased security demand, the force has also had to cover the Princess Diana tribute concert and the Tour de France, Tiplady pointed out.
“We cannot just employ more police officers – they don’t exist – so it’s worked out using rostering, overtime and prioritisation for the level of cover needed at each event,” he said. But he stressed that the extra level of police effort was all part of the nature of the job.
“Our organisation is geared for the unexpected – our staff are already equipped to face what they encountered.
“We’ve had huge co-operation from colleagues in other forces, and the team – officers and civilian staff – have been fantastic,” Tiplady added.
“I commend the bravery and diligence of our investigative officers.”
Civilians play their part
British Transport Police (BTP) HR is training civilian staff to step in if they are needed to support police officers on the front line during security incidents.
These include: driving police care support vehicles following senior officers and logging minute-by-minute actions/records and typing data on to the Police National Computer.
Staff involved in such activity need to go through specialist training first, but HR manager for the BTP London Underground area, Will Tucker, said there were already a number of people police could turn to.
“Once staff have gone through specialist training and contractual issues have been sorted out, we have a pool of support staff [in the office] who can get involved in supporting police officers when needed,” he said.