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Metropolitan Police (Reorganisation)

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on the progress of the force reorganisation; and if he will make a statement.

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that the reorganisation of the force is now nearly complete.The territorial structure of the force has been simplified by the abolition of the district level of command. Largely as a result of this, the number of commander and chief superintendent posts has been reduced by more than 50. The new two-tier structure consists of eight Areas and 75 territorial divisions. Chains of command have been shortened, and divisional chief superintendents have been given greater responsibilities.The growth of the force headquarters has been reversed and its size reduced by devolving many many of its functions to areas and divisions. As a result, some 1,200 posts will be passed to areas and 218 posts will be abolished, resulting in the release of that number of officers for operational posts at areas and on divisions. Most of these changes have taken place already, and the remainder will follow by April 1988. In addition, 150 civil staff will have been released from headquarters by this date.As a further consequence of the reorganisation, another 200 officers have been released for deployment to other operational duties on divisions by the setting up of territorial support groups to replace the special patrol group and district support units.I greatly welcome these changes and the benefits which the force reorganisation promises for the future.