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Met Police are in the red keeping thin blue line going

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:45 05 October 2010

CHANGES to police shift patterns across London in the next 12 months should help solve the problem of the thin blue line’ being in the red. The new cops’ working hours should reduce the Met Police overspending its tight budget, the London Assembly has been told

By Mike Brooke

CHANGES to police shift patterns across London in the next 12 months should help solve the problem of the thin blue line’ being in the red.

The new cops’ working hours should reduce the Met Police Force overspending its tight budget, year on year, the London Assembly has been told.

But it may mean less flexibility for the average working bobby on the beat.

Scotland Yard chiefs have overspent the overtime budget every year for the past 10 years, the Assembly’s budget monitoring sub-committee has heard.

The Met is expected to spend an extra £11 million in the 12 months to April 1, for example, largely due to major unforeseen operations such as the Tamil demos outside the Houses of Parliament which cost £7.1m.

The Force is to undergo a “fairly major and significant restructuring process” during the coming financial year involving a realignment of shift patterns across London, it has promised City Hall.

John Biggs, Assembly member for East London who chairs the monitoring sub-committee, said: “For too long now, the Met has overspent on overtime.

“Now it acknowledges this is a problem it needs to look at in more detail. Measures to tackle the problem are long overdue.”

The Met insist the new shift patterns would bring in more control. But it warned they may also mean less working flexibility.


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