Boys in blue seek back-office support

Link: Special role for accountants in Met’s fraud fight

In adverts, the Met said it was putting sound financial management at the top of a ‘radical change agenda’, partly driven by the devolution of its £2.87bn budget to operational commanders, which will enable police to be freed up for the front line.

A year ago the Metropolitan Police Authority, which monitors the Metropolitan Police, admitted budget devolution had proved ‘very challenging’ and had decided against an immediate extension of the programme. But now the MPA treasurer Peter Martin said that it planned to roll it out service-wide. Multiple vacancies are being advertised across eight different roles, including accountants, accounting technicians and a finance service development manager, who will earn £47,000 a year.

The MPA took over the regulation of the Met in 2000. At the time Toby Harris, chairman of the MPA, admitted the financial management systems were ‘antiquated’.

Martin said the recruitment was part of a long-term drive to create a finance function fit for the 21st century. ‘Putting bobbies on the beat is one of the ultimate objectives of devolving budgets, which allows local managers to make better decisions about their resources,’ he said.

Recently released police performance indicators showed that some forces spent between 54% and 70% of their time on front-line policing.

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