§ Mr. Richards
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has received from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis about reorganising the senior management structure of the Metropolitan police; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Howard
Yes. The Commissioner is, with my support, undertaking a thorough and fundamental review of the structure of the Metropolitan police. This review is also taking into account the decisions which I announced on 28 October about the recommendations of the inquiry into police responsibilities and rewards.
A principal aim of the review is to release and apply the energy of senior staff to meeting operational needs. An early outcome is a proposal, which I have approved, to reduce the number of area commands within the Metroplitan police district from eight to five and to streamline the senior management structure.
This will involve abolishing, in stages, the existing 14 deputy Assistant Commissioner posts and putting each of the five new areas under the command of an Assistant Commissioner. Only two of the existing five central Assistant Commissioner posts will remain, one to deputise for the Commissioner and carry out other functional responsibilities and a second to take overall charge of operational functions organised centrally.
I shall bring forward proposals for necessary adjustments to existing legislation about Assistant Commissioners in the forthcoming Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill.