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Concern Mounts Over Loss Of Supers

Politicians express concern over prospect of losing senior officers in force shake up

The Metropolitan Police could lose some of its borough commander posts under plans to cut £500million from its budget, a meeting has heard.

At the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said the force had not made any concrete decisions and he could not say for certain what would happen to the numbers of senior ranks.

The committee was prompted to ask questions after the sudden departure of Ch Supt Charles Griggs, the borough commander for Southwark, who said in an email that his loss was due “budget cuts”.

He took over in Southwark in January and was expected to be in post for three years – but instead he retired on Friday, September 28.

In an e-mail to colleagues and the local council, Ch Supt Griggs said: “I was excited and proud to have been posted to Southwark with the firm intention to serve as your borough commander for three years.

“However, I am sure you are aware of the financial crisis faced by the force and, sadly, as part of the budget cuts in response to that crisis, it has not been possible for the Metropolitan Police Service to honour their commitment to my three-year tenure.”

When asked about the departure of the chief superintendent, Deputy Commissioner Mackey said he could not give details about an individual case but pointed out that Ch Supt Griggs was on the ‘Thirty Plus’ scheme, under which officers with more than 30 years' service can draw their pension while continuing to work.

The Met will stop offering the scheme after January 1 2014 to any rank above constable. Regarding Ch Supt Griggs, Deputy Commissioner Mackey said: “There are some individual decisions that have been made.”

The deputy commissioner was then asked whether the Met had used Regulation A19 in this case and he replied: “No. The two are completely separate.”

John Tully, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said the force might end up “brigading” boroughs together and having one chief superintendent for every two or three boroughs.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh told the committee: “There will be 32 borough leaders visible and accountable but I can't say there will be 32 chief superintendents.”

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