Let’s imagine1 Damian and Viddy are hard-nosed ruthless negotiators who know the Metropolitan Police are cash-strapped after Conservative Austerity cuts. An offer is made which is turned down. Damian and Viddy say, “Yes, we want more Metropolitan police in Havering but on our terms.” Our terms are: five police officers for three years. A total of 5475 days. And we’ll pay £900,000.2
Let’s imagine Damian and Viddy aren’t hard-nosed ruthless negotiators and capitulate to smooth talking police salesmen.3 What do the Metropolitan police offer? A maximum of 3285 days, because – there’s an annual minimum of 10 days per officer (150 over three years) of, High Demand Days4. Police sick leave averages 5-7 days annually plus 25 days holiday, plus an unknown number of court appearances, training days, compassionate leave and they work a five day week. £900,000 is the teaser rate to get Damian and Viddy hooked not the final bill. (addendum one)
The police sales team made an offer Damian and Viddy couldn’t refuse:
If the Met PartnershipPlus was not supported the ability to secure additional Police resource for activity locally would be subject to East BCU priorities.5
Or: Pay up or we’ll do what we did with police stations. This really is hard-nosed negotiating.
This cabinet decision will be reviewed by the Crime and Disorder Committee. They won’t want to look ‘soft’ on crime, so Commissioner Dick will get her deficit reduced. Well done Damian and Viddy the citizens of Havering are paying twice for the same service. (addendum two)
Addendum one: The £900,000 opening gambit
Provision for police overtime can be made within the agreement; this will be required particularly where there is an expectation for the officers to work on bank holidays. Additional resources to support the officers, such as vehicles, may be funded by the London Borough. These arrangements may either be included as part of the scheme Agreement or formalised within a separate agreement, subject to consideration of the requirement, funding available and the term of the funding.6 (my emphasis)
Addendum two: Havering’s police precept
To keep Londoners safe, the Mayor has decided to raise the police element of his council tax precept by £12 for a typical Band D property. This will help to keep officer numbers as high as possible within the resources the Mayor has at his disposal.7
Basically their figures were wrong in the first place as government cuts were bigger than expected.
1 “It isn’t hard to do.” John Lennon Imagine
2 Damian also agreed £250,000 on up-grading the CCTV system. The Home Office have cast doubts on CCTV’s effectiveness.
3 Officers purchased under the PartnershipPlus Scheme will be additional to the BCU Establishment. (my emphasis)
5 ibid p360
6 ibid p361