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Officers ‘May Have To Reapply For Roles’

Force admits “preference-based selection” could mean officers have to reapply for their jobs

Metropolitan police officers may be forced to reapply for their own jobs under sweeping changes to Territorial Policing – even if they want to stay put.

A restructuring programme will see the force put 2,000 more officers and PCSOs into new Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Teams (INPTs) by “realigning them from other roles”.

Each borough is set to have the same model, with the INPTs investigating low-level offences at one end of the spectrum and CID teams continuing to examine more serious crime at the other.

The move means that officers will have to declare a preference for which role they would like within new teams – but there is no guarantee they will be successful.

Simon Byrne, Assistant Commissioner Territorial Policing, accepted that some officers would be disappointed by the outcome of the change – but added that such major restructuring was never going to be an easy undertaking.

He was speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee. Chair Joanne McCartney said she believed the prospect of reapplying for jobs was creating “morale problems at a very difficult time” for officers.

A Met spokesman confirmed that exact details over the number of positions available in each role is “still to be thrashed out”, though he said the goal was to have more officers on both the INPTs and response teams.

Operational needs will be balanced with the needs of individuals where possible, the force said.

A force statement added: “One of the first stages is to exactly identify who is ‘in scope’ for the preference process and who is not. Once the ‘in scope’ posts have been identified then everyone must express a preference (about their desired role).”

“This could involve officers having to reapply for their own roles. It will be carried out in a fair, transparent and consistent manner. The aim is to ensure that we have the right skills in the right place to meet the needs of Londoners.”

John Tully, Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman, said the details of the plans had changed over time and he did not currently know which roles were likely to be under or over subscribed.

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