The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) cover the whole of the Capital’s policing needs with 33,000 officers 24/7, 365 days a year in one of the world’s greatest capital cities. Their remit now covers an increasingly wide scope from burglary to anti-terrorism providing nationally and internationally recognised services.
The MPS had embarked on the delivery of a programme of estate rationalisation based on an Estate Strategy agreed in 2016. In this case an increase of up to 20,000 officers was announced by the UK government in 2019.
In common with many large programmes of this type, changes in direction or capacity factors need to be understood and options considered before new approaches are considered. Initially the MPS had considered the potential impact to be the retention of several key buildings previously earmarked for disposal under the Estate Strategy. It was clear an impact assessment was needed to support the development of the new officer uplift, and new business cases to support a revised Estate Strategy. This needed to be a detailed piece of work with a large number of variables impacting estate capacity modelled for every potential new officer, their equipment, their business unit and their location.
EventMAP set work providing the detailed estates and finance modelling task to allow the business case over the next 5 years and beyond to be modelled and submitted for approval to management board.
The model was developed to include the estate needed to accommodate between 3000 and 5000 new officers. The current 152 buildings covered in the estate strategy, ranging from offices to police stations and depots, and the available space and function was collected, along with officer equipment storage, like lockers, desks and other space types. In addition, specific roles and their desk use, equipment needs, and shift patterns (with 5 variations) were factored into the modelling data. This information was analysed by business command unit, support staff, corporate centre type groupings as well as individual teams of specialists, or groups with special space needs where this was needed. The final variables were entered to enable model ratios of use of office space and desks by team in the light of the experience gained from the numbers of staff able to work from home during the COVID pandemic. Assessing which teams of staff could work more flexibly, and model the parameters possible, namely a sliding scale of assumption of 1-5 days per week working from home, and its impact on the available Estate.
Each of the variables were able to be amended to provide scenario plan and enable different options to be evaluated.
The modelling and option development gave the MPS the ability to model different options and understand the impact on the fixed estate and the financial impact of any new officers recruited by their role in the MPS. The senior stakeholder engagement to develop the model has allowed the senior team and other influencers to more easily accept the findings, and allow the MPS to make more strategic decisions on the need for the level of retention or disposal of the fixed estate to deal with the officer uplift across London. Additionally, with the depth of insight needed to develop the models, it has defined the benefits and constraints in making changes, and in doing so has supported better facts-based decision making.
The modelling outcome has allowed the MPS to continue to achieve the majority of the planned savings from estate rationalisation originally envisaged in the original Estate Strategy, and the number of retained buildings will not be as high as initially anticipated, whilst still absorbing the increased number of officers to be accommodated.