The Met is by no means a law unto itself. It is an integral part of the structure of London and subject to rigorous scrutiny and checks by various bodies to ensure that that it is operating in accordance to its mandate. This is where you’ll gain a clear understanding of how the force is governed, and how it fits into the overall scheme of things to ensure we conform to our statutory obligations.
The Commissioner is accountable in law for exercising police powers and to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and is held to account for the delivery of policing by the Home Secretary and the Mayor of London. Both have a role in appointing the Commissioner, with the decision taken by the Home Secretary following consultation with the Mayor. The Home Secretary also has a specific role regarding the functions of the Met which go beyond policing London – for example, counter-terrorism policing and the national policing functions that the Met carries out.
The Mayor of London was given a direct mandate for policing in London in 2011, as part of the Police and Social Responsibility Act. As such, the Mayor is responsible for setting the strategic direction of policing in London through the Police and Crime Plan.
A number of powers are devolved to MOPAC, which is led by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. This includes the delivery of efficient and effective Met policing, management of resources and expenditure (MOPAC is the functional body of the GLA that sets the policing budget, holds the Commissioner to account and in partnership discusses progress against the Police & Crime Plan, assesses the strategic budget position and key risks to delivery).
The London Assembly also has a role in providing the formal check and balance on policing in London. The Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee is charged with examining the work of MOPAC and matters of policing interest in London, and in doing so publicly scrutinises the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime on a regular basis, alongside the Commissioner.
Post consultation with the Commissioner, the Deputy Mayor recommends to the Mayor, an annual policing budget for the Met. Each year, the Met publishes an annual
Statement of Accounts that sets out the financial position of the Met. To accompany this, the Met produces an Annual Governance Statement (AGS), which is a statutory document explaining the governance processes and procedures in place to enable the Met to carry out its functions effectively.
MOPAC oversee the Met’s financial accounts through the Investment Advisory Board (also monitors estates) and the MOPAC/MPS Audit Panel (also holds the Met to account for other areas of governance including internal controls, health and safety and equality and diversity).
The Met undergoes substantial inspection and audit activity by a number of external bodies and organisations to ensure that we are providing an effective and efficient service to Londoners. A number of these have statutory obligations including:
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) who make judgments on the Met and identify improvement areas and report to Parliament.
- The Independent Police Complaints Commission who oversee complaints made about the Met and have a statutory responsibility to secure and maintain public confidence in police complaints.
- The Directorate of Audit, Risk and Assurance (DARA) who has a statutory obligation to provide an annual judgement on how effective our governance framework, internal controls and risk management are.
To ensure we conform to our statutory obligations, we have in place a Management Board that is responsible for setting the strategic direction, making strategic decisions and monitoring organisational performance. This is supported by 3 other boards:
- Portfolio & Investment Board - makes decisions around Business Cases, monitors Portfolio and Programme performance
- People & Training Board – focuses on Talent Management, Staff, Inclusion and Diversity, Training, Pay and Reward
- Risk & Assurance Board – considers Risk, Audit, Business Continuity and Assurance
A number of other boards sit under these boards including the Health & Safety Board and the Information Management & Security Board. All make key decisions to support effective governance.
Within directorates, various scrutiny and decision-making boards take place like Chief Officer Group meetings and Crimefighters, where operational leads are held to account by the Assistant Commissioner for performance in their area.