Response to Lambeth meeting from Lord Toby Harris, MPA Chair

14 November 2002

Thank you for your letter containing a petition concerning Commander Brian Paddick, requesting his return to Lambeth.

Members of the Metropolitan Police Authority’s senior officer conduct sub-committee announced on 12 November that the allegations that Commander Paddick’s conduct had failed to meet the appropriate standard would not be referred to a tribunal hearing. A decision has already been made that no criminal proceedings would take place. The case is now closed.

Day to day operational policing and the direction and control of Metropolitan Police officers is a matter for the Commissioner, not the Metropolitan Police Authority (although Members are consulted on changes).

There has been a lot of interest concerning the senior officer post in Lambeth and I include part of the Commissioners standard response below:

‘Eighteen months ago, it was clear that Lambeth was emerging as a special case among the London Boroughs as it had a far higher incidence of crime and disorder than comparable boroughs in London. The amalgamation of divisions into borough based OCU’s had been carried out at some cost to operational performance, and I did not consider the police activity and tactics to be adequate.

Additionally, it was quite clear that the level of investment in the Crime and Disorder Strategy by Lambeth Council was, at that time, insufficient. Lambeth Borough OCU therefore needed significant leadership to tackle these obvious challenges. Therefore, an ACPO rank Commander, in this case Brian Paddick, was appointed in Lambeth..

Evidence of this special situation facing the Lambeth community was reinforced following the PA Consulting Review of Resource Allocation Formula used within the MPS. This showed a very high correlation between levels of crime and the needs indices of social deprivation, licensed clubs etc, except one borough – Lambeth. Lambeth had a far higher incidence of crime against these needs indicators than anywhere else in London.

Commander Paddick worked hard to build relationships with the Borough Council and the community and implement Project Walrus – a root and branch review of policing service in Lambeth. This work with the Leader of the Local Authority and the Chief Executive has brought about a sea change in Lambeth Borough Council’s investment within the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. Project Walrus which began in January, has brought about a radical change in police strategies and tactics. It should be noted that following the departure of Brian Paddick from Lambeth at about that time, the leadership of that change had fallen to Chief Superintendent Brian Moore. The result has been a reduction in street crime of 21.5% and a reduction in burglary since January, compared to the same period in 2001. This is significant and to the credit of Brian Moore and his Senior Management Team, as prior to the implementation of Project Walrus crime and disorder had been rising steadily. Levels of crime in Lambeth are now far more consistent with the rest of London Boroughs when compared to needs and as a result the task set Commander Paddick in bringing Lambeth’s performance back into line has been achieved.

I have not as yet made a decision to remove the Commander post from Lambeth, but instead have commenced a review of the management structures and ranks of borough commands across London. Questions were asked of us at the time of the Commander’s appointment to Lambeth, ‘Why Lambeth? Why not, Southwark, Hackney, Haringey, Brent or Tower Hamlets? These boroughs have similar challenges in relation to crime and disorder. We were able to answer these challenges using the argument outlined above. Now that we have evidence of a stabilising of that position, the argument is harder to sustain. The potential therefore is for four or five boroughs to be able to make the same claim around policing challenges. Five commander posts with on-costs equates to approximately £930k increase in management on-costs. That equates to 24 constables. Commander Paddick created the environment; to facilitate change but the change management process itself and the leadership of it has successfully been achieved by Chief Superintendent Brian Moore at Lambeth. We therefore have to whether London would benefit from 24 more constables or five commanders. To assist in this, we have engaged Accenture, who are due to conduct a ‘Management Effciency and Effectiveness Review’ on behalf of the GLA MPA and Commissioner.

I hope the above informs you of the current position in relation to command in Lambeth.

Yours sincerely

Toby Harris

Metropolitan Police Authority (Chair) 

lambeth4paddick’s response