Future Challenges for policing in London (Supplementary) [11]

Session date: 
November 1, 2018
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Andrew Boff AM:  Commissioner, do you accept that there are crimes which could have been stopped if we had had in place a domestic abusers register?

Answer

Answer for Future Challenges for policing in London (Supplementary) [11]

Answer for Future Challenges for policing in London (Supplementary) [11]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  I do not know.  I really do not know.  Quite possibly.  Equally, if we have a domestic abusers register and it is unwieldy and difficult to operate, there may be other crimes which do not get investigated properly.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  In terms of its unwieldiness, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) back in 2008 had a value-for-money study on the operation of a domestic abusers’ register and found that it will pay for itself in three years if only 357 cases were prevented as a result, and that is easily within the number of national domestic abuse cases.  It does seem to me and perhaps it seems to you that this is a worthy commitment of time to ensure that we get a domestic abusers register that is fit for purpose.

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  I am back to the conversation that I had with Len Duvall [AM].  It depends how and what and the expectations that go with it as to whether it would end up being a useful use of resource.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  That review was back in 2008.  Would you support another review by the NPCC?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  I will check but I think they have been looking at this.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  You would be supportive of that?  Even if it is ongoing, you are supportive of it ongoing?  If it is not ongoing, would you be supportive of a value-for-money study to ensure that that happens?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  No, what I am saying is that I think they have looked at it recently, but I need to double-check.  I will write to you.  I think they have looked at it recently and I think they have concluded that this is not the right way to go, but I will double-check for you.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  OK.  Do you have confidence in the training that your officers have?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  We are talking here in relation to domestic abuse?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  No, we have moved on to something else.

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  Sorry.  In general?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  In general, yes.

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  Police training is generally of a very good standard.  We have good frameworks.  We have good guidance from the College of Policing.  As you may know, I have set out for the MPS to become genuinely more of a learning organisation and we are about to embark on a big programme of improving and changing the way we deliver our training.  We are about, as you also probably know, to bring in as a result of a national change a different form of entry for our new staff with the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) and the degree-entry or apprenticeship-entry schemes.  There is a lot going on in police training.  If I was to take, for example, the training of firearms officers or training in public order, it stands in very good ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  To help you out here, there was a reply, I believe, by the Mayor a little while ago - not in this meeting but in a previous reply - that there is sufficient training for those officers who are going to use spit guards.  Is that correct?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  The officers are very highly trained in officer safety techniques.  This has been transformed in the last 30 years when I think of the training that I was given.  They are incredibly professional.  They have a huge amount of training very regularly, every six months, and they are refreshed ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  That is great, Commissioner.  What I am trying to get ‑‑

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  ‑‑ but it does not include spit guards at the moment.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  It does not ‑‑

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  Not for every officer, no, it does not.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  ‑‑ yet we have a reply from the Mayor saying that for the pilot scheme the training was sufficient?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  In the custody suites.

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  In the custody [suites], it is fine, but if we were to roll out spit guards or some other method of protecting the officers from spitting, we would have to give extra training to a much larger number of officers.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  You do not have confidence in your officers to be able to use spit guards in the most appropriate way out on the streets?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  No, I did not say that.  What I am saying is there would have to be more training.  If we were to issue spit guards in the future, there would be more training.  I have great confidence in my officers’ abilities.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Obviously, you do not have confidence at the moment because you are not allowing them to use spit guards.

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  That is not because I do not have confidence in their abilities.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  What do you not have confidence in, then?

 

Cressida Dick CBE QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  I am not satisfied yet that it is going to actually protect them from being spat at in any large number of instances and I am not satisfied that overall it will result in them being safer, not less safe.  That is not saying I do not trust them to make good decisions.  I think we have the best officers in the world and you know that, Andrew.

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  Thank you very much.  We now go on to the next tabled question, which relates to tackling violence against women and girls.  This will now be taken by Assembly Member Kurten.