Parts of Sutton police could merge under new cost cutting measures
Parts of Sutton and Merton police could merge under new cost cutting measures.
The Metropolitan Police has to cut its £3.5bn budget by £500m by 2015 and one option it is considering is merging the top layer of the two borough's forces, meaning the two boroughs would share a borough commander.
Under plans drawn up by the Met's assistant commissioner Simon Byrne - called the One Met model - 14 London boroughs could see their most senior policemen shared with a neighbouring police service.
Basic Command Units, (BCUs) as they would be known, would share certain resources and services in an attempt to increase efficiency while freeing up more officers "on the beat".
The plans could leave Sutton borough commander Chief Superintendent Guy Ferguson competing with his Merton equivalent Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams for the same job.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The proposed model for a BCU will consist of one or more boroughs, led by a single senior officer and would see custody, intelligence provision, resource management and performance shared, but response and neighbourhood policing will continue to be delivered at a local level."
Traditional low crime boroughs would merge, but in order to decide which boroughs could be grouped together, assessments have been carried out, but no decisions have yet been made.
As well as potentially merging Merton and Sutton, the Met have proposed a single BCU that would merge 14 boroughs: Richmond with Kingston; Bexley with Bromley; Hounslow with Hillingdon; Barnet with Harrow; Havering with Barking; and Hammersmith & Fulham with Kensington & Chelsea.
At Mayor's Question Time on Wednesday October 17, Boris Johnson said he did not plan to get rid of borough commanders.
He later added: "I'm perfectly in favour of sharing services, sharing management, all kinds of things. It also happens to be my view that in each borough... we should have one person who is a police officer that should have accountability and responsibility for that area."
A spokesman for Sutton police said: "There are a number of proposals under consideration to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Met Police. These proposals include certain resources and services being shared across some neighbouring boroughs. However, no decisions have yet been taken about which boroughs will share services.