Metropolitan Police to shed 400 frontline jobs

Hundreds of police officers may lose their jobs as Scotland Yard hurries to save £20m, the Evening Standard has reported.

Plans have been announced for civilians to take the jobs of 400 uniformed custody officers, as part of a bid to save £67m in the next financial year.

Personnel Today learned in June that the Metropolitan Police force was considering cutting frontline jobs, as a last resort.

HR director Martin Tiplady told the magazine frontline jobs would have to go once all other options to save money had been “exploited”.

Senior officers are also drawing up plans to merge departments such as HR and finance across boroughs to make further savings.

Deputy mayor for policing Kit Malthouse announced the plans at the London Assembly. He said further cuts would be needed if the government went ahead with plans to cut spending by 10%.

“You can cut into the fat and then the flesh but at that level you are talking about cutting into the bone,” he said.

The total budget of £2.7bn for 2010-11 is based on an estimated fall in the government grant of up to 1.5%, but new research from the Institute of Financial Studies said this could reach 2.3%, leading to further cuts.

The 400 jobs will be lost over the next three years, mainly in custody suites as civilians take over.

Godwin said: “Some existing stations may close but the front desks will be replaced. We’re looking at operating from supermarkets and seeing if we can take advantage of the property market to buy up empty retail space and work from there.

“We don’t want great big monolithic stations, but front desks in the community.”

In April 2008, Personnel Today learned the Met was planning to shed hundreds of HR jobs to free up cash for frontline policing.

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