Bromley police merger to go live in February
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 June 2018
PA Archive/Press Association Images
The controversial merger of Bromley’s police units with Croydon and Sutton is set to go live in February following an HR delay.
The decision to lump together the three police command units comes as Scotland Yard looks to save £325m by 2021/2022.
The current 32 borough model will be condensed to 12 Basic Command Units (BCU) made up of two or three boroughs.
Despite the police numbers dropping to just 30,000 officers, Paul Warnett, the Met’s safeguarding lead for BCU south, told a council Safer Bromley Partnership meeting that residents would not notice a difference.
He said: “The last update was that the BCU was going live in January, that is now the February 19. One of the reasons for that is the transition of the child abuse teams and the sapphire rape teams coming across to us.
“The BCU will be taking on those functions – they will be locally delivered services as opposed to centrally as they are at the moment.
“Officers have been given options for where they can work in London and we know where they are going to be posted, but there is an appeal process on going at the moment.
“These things all take time, we are dealing with hundreds and hundreds of people in an HR process so that has pushed back the start process.”
Each BCU will be led by a Chief Superintendant who will become the BCU Commander.
Bromley, Croydon and Sutton officers will share buildings and resources as well as sharing borough boundaries.
The new system has come under fire by critics who claim it will over use the already stretched resources of police – especially in a borough as big as Bromley.
Mr Warnett went on: “What I will say is that the impact of this model on Bromley is far less than other local authorities. You are still going to have response teams working out of Bromley, you’re still going to have safeguarding and CID teams here.
“I would be very surprised if any resident notices a difference, other than a hopefully improved service.”
The shift comes as Scotland Yard looks to improve efficiency, with City Hall claiming that the changes have been “driven” by Government cuts.
The Met said the scheme will be phased in over the next 12 months, meaning officers will cover lager areas.
Chislehurst MP Bob Neill and Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake both issued objections to the merging of the police commands – and the Bromley Lib Dems launched a petition against the decision.