Chris Cully, the Managing Director of risk & security management company, Dilitas writes exclusively for Infologue.com. Chris writes:
“In the much maligned and much missed good old days of the Metropolitan Police Force, day-to-day policing was so simple, in every way. Police stations (the buildings in every town where police officers used to work 24/7) ran themselves with a small band of dedicated civilians and the occasional helping hand from an in-house copper.
“All in all, it was pretty efficient and relatively cost effective. For instance, if a light bulb needed changing, the probationer or the other similar junior would be dispatched to the stores for a new bulb. Returning with said bulb, somebody would risk life and limb, climb on a ladder or a table and change the bulb. Job done and the might of The Force was still with us.
“With Time Lord like rapidity we now bound forward to 2014 to find the Metropolitan Police, with not as many police stations as there was a while ago and a blinding new way of changing light bulbs. Gone are the DIY methods of bulb changing of yore, but in its place, a stunning contract with a maintenance firm called Interserve PLC, who trade and operate in over 40 countries. Part of the contract the Metropolitan Police has with Interserve, is that Interserve change all the lights bulbs in what’s left of the Met’s police stations and, presumably, all the other buildings used by the Met.
“Now none of this would have come to light until Jessica Learmond-Criqui, Barrister at Law, was “tipped off” by members of the “Thin Blue Line” as to the costs being incurred by the Met for just getting a light bulb changed.
Apparently, Interserve charge the Met £100 to change a life bulb in an emergency, although exactly what constitutes an emergency has not been identified. If not an emergency, the Met gets invoiced at a knock down, drag out, “you know it makes sense” price of £26.00.
“The figures were subsequently highlighted and confirmed by Victoria Morgan, Director of Procurement at the Met Police, after they were requested by the learned and well briefed Learmond-Criqui.
“Ms. Morgan was apparently angered by the fact that the details emerged at a time when budgets are being cut and up to 65 police stations across London face closure.
“Since the coalition government came to power in 2010, the Home Office said police funding would be reduced by 20 percent by 2015 and more than 10,460 officers would lose their jobs. As a result, in January, it was reported that the number of police officers in England and Wales is now at the lowest level in more than a decade. The 2.6 per cent dip in officer numbers follows a sharp reduction in funding. Quod Erat Demonstrandum!
“There has also been a marked decline in the number of community support officers, or PCSOs, with current figures now showing 13,552, which is down six per cent in a year.
“So, the question we have all been asking about where is the money going that the Met is apparently saving, is now clearly answered; it is going on the purchase and replacement of light bulbs at the most usurious and eye watering cost.
“It is quite terrifying that somebody, somewhere in the Met signed of on this profligacy. I for one, would like to know who made this decision, who signed off the decision and how many more allegedly inept and allegedly financially incompetent decisions such as this are running rampant through the Met.”
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