Met Police HR chief Martin Tiplady has robustly defended the number of uniformed police officers he has working in his department after David Cameron claimed they were prevented from fighting crime and used only as “form-fillers” during last night’s live election TV debate.
The Conservative Party leader said: “The Metropolitan Police have 400 uniformed officers in their human resources department. Our police officers should be crime fighters, not form-fillers, and that’s what needs to change.”
The Met – the biggest police force in the UK with 31,000 police officers – currently hires 370 police officers in the HR department, down from 398 in 2009-10. However, Tiplady categorically denied the Conservative party leader’s claim that all the men and women did was fill in forms – meaning less were out fighting crime.
“The police officers are not form-filling . Most of them are training other cops,” he told Personnel Today. “I’m quite relieved that police officers are training police officers.”
He conceded that police officer numbers in the HR department might reduce further in future, but insisted “this is not the issue”.
“They are there because they need to be there to train others,” he said.
In the HR department in 2009-10, Tiplady said there were:
208 police officers teaching new police recruits, special constables and probationers
26 training new police community support officers
63 in the driver training school team
55 in various other training roles
30 undertaking assessment and other career management work
8 in the Police Federation, which represents officers
8 in recruitment, positive action and community service team, and other areas of HR work
= 398 police officers.
In 2010-11, the number of police officers in the HR department was reduced by 28.