Government should give Met Police a fair deal
A delay in the delivery of the Emergency Services Network programme by the Home Office is likely to land the Met Police with a £50 million bill.
It is just one area of funding shortfall that will leave the capital’s police having to find £1 billion of savings by 2023.
Today, the London Assembly called on the Mayor to lobby Government for compensation to cover delays in the Emergency Services Network programme; to fully fund the Capital Cities Grant; and to meet the cost of two annual police pay rises.
Unmesh Desai AM, who proposed the motion, said:
“The Home Office’s failure to push through the transition of the Met’s radio system to the new Emergency Services Network programme on time, is leaving our already overstretched police force facing a £50 million bill.
“If the Government refuses to intervene, its programme of cuts will mean that the Met will have had to find over £1 billion of savings from its budget by 2023.
“For this reason, it is only fair that any costs incurred by this delay are fully compensated by the Government.
“In addition, as part of the Government’s upcoming Spending Review, it is vital that the Home Secretary secures the Met remuneration for the National and International Capital Cities Grant and the cost of the last two annual police pay rises”.
Full text of the motion
“The Assembly notes that the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has made the decision to procure an operational radio fleet at a cost of £52.3m. We further note that this purchase is necessary because the Home Office Emergency Services Network programme has suffered significant delays, meaning the MPS will still rely on the Airwave network until at least December 2022.
“Originally, the transition to new radios was scheduled to begin in September 2017. The Assembly has explored the reasons for this delay through its Oversight Committee and has expressed its concerns about the additional cost this will place on the MPS.
“We urge the Government to prioritise delivery of the ESN, ensuring that it meets the full operational needs of London’s emergency services and that this work is not funded by taking more money from already stretched national and local policing budgets.
“The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to continue to lobby the Home Secretary, as part of his efforts to secure fair funding for the MPS in advance of the Government’s Spending Review, and in so doing request for the Government to remunerate the MPS and MOPAC for any costs incurred because of the delay alongside full remuneration of the National and International Capital Cities Grant and the cost of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 police pay rise.”
Notes to editors
- Watch the full webcast.
- The motion was agreed unanimously.
- Unmesh Desai AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Giles Broadbent on 020 7983 4607. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.