Met Restructuring 2016-2020



Background to the initiative

The Met commitment to restructuring, is an ongoing project; both reinforced by the Met’s need to stretch its resources further and also by the government’s commitment to public service reform. In 2014, the Met Police brought together its top managers to discuss its future. The 'summit' of senior officers identified a range of issues which would need to be tackled.

To further this project, the Royal Society of Arts was commissioned by the Met to look at how the service could adapt to those many changes and challenges.

The result was the 'Safer together: policing a global city in 2020'; an analysis and set of proposals "intended to generate a public conversation about the future of London’s safety – a critical component of its success as a global city". As a result, further deliberations by the Met arrived at proposals in late 2016 for the trialing of the One Met Model; clustering boroughs into multi borough command units.

One Met Model

Borough Neighbourhood Level

  • A minimum of 2 Dedicated Ward Officers (DWOs) and one PCSO per ward that will be ‘ring fenced’ from abstraction
  • Additional DWOs to a total of over 1700 across London, allocated to higher demand wards through local consultation to address local priorities
  • 281 Youth and Schools Officers rising to 600 working full-time in schools, PRUs and other educational institutions to prevent crime and protect young people – again allocated through local consultation

Multi Borough Basic Command Unit

  • Partnership and Prevention teams in every BCU (approximately 300 officers in total) providing specialist crime prevention/problem solving advice in line with ‘Prevention First’, owning strategic problems affecting the BCU as a whole and working jointly closely with partners.
  • All staff will be locally based, and work to deliver on local priorities developed via local consultation.
  • Response Teams will respond to emergency calls and deal with ongoing incidents. They provide a taskable resource in response to crime trends, public order aid and force mobilization.
  • Intended that more efficient management will improve cross border deployments (currently only 1%) and improve call allocation to ensure the nearest unit attends the call (currently only occurring in 22% of calls)
  • Investigating PIP Level 1 crime to offer immediate victim – investigator contact to improve victim care and ownership of investigations
  • Reduced ‘handover’ of investigations intended to improves efficiency and prevent re working of enquiries already completed during an investigation.
  • Management of their own prisoners will ensure effective evidence capture at the scene and more efficient processing
  • Efficiency savings and demand reduction will allow reallocation of staff by 2020 to focus on risk and vulnerability.


  • Local Investigations - teams of investigators will respond directly to the more serious and complex PIP Level 2 crimes, offering immediate victim – investigator contact.
  • They will also deliver a proactive response to crime, disorder and offending, utilising traditional uniformed tasking teams alongside proactive units dealing with local priorities
  • A new approach to tasking & co-ordination will mean that the multi borough Basic Command Unit "has increased visibility of and access to specialist teams"
  • Pathfinders1 will test more joined up response to organised crime at the local level

Basic Command Unit Leadership

One Multi Borough BCU Commander – Chief Superintendent

  • Single point of contact and responsibility for the BCU
  • Reduced number of BCU Commanders who are more empowered and influential across the MPS
  • Maintain key relationships with Leaders and Chief Executives
  • Enables removal of one ‘chief officer’ rank

Four Superintendents responsible for functional service delivery across the BCU

  • Improved ‘specialism’ within each function
  • Ensure officers are responsible for similar demands and resources across the MPS
  • Ensure senior officers are suitably trained and equipped for the portfolio they oversee
  • Allows a ‘delayered’ management structure - removal of one rank within the BCU – giving streamlined decision making by empowered staff at the right level and reducing management costs

Borough Commanders at Superintendent level

  • Each borough will have one of the superintendents accountable for overall service delivery in the borough and providing a single point of contact for local stakeholders.

How many Commands for London?

  • Met have considered options between 11 and 16 BCUs. Fewer than 11 means too broad a management ratio (greater than 1:10 superintendents to inspectors). More than 16 means that there is too much variation in size/demand (largest is 3x smallest)
  • Teams (eg in emergency response) need to operate at sufficient size and scale to generate flexibility and realise efficiencies
  • Smaller commands make PVP teams with right level of specialism unsustainable.
  • Leadership structures need to be organised ‘functionally’ to get benefits from consistency and professionalism – more BCUs makes it increasingly inefficient (eg reducing PCs in favour of management and preventing consistent functional leadership across London)
  • This led to a preference for a 12 BCU model as the best scale to realise the operational and organisational benefits




1. Two pathfinder Basic Command Units commenced operations in January 2016. North (Camden and Islington) and East (Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering).