Scotland Yard says it will axe subsidised train travel for new recruits just days after the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime agreed a new £80m, four-year deal to provide the perk.
A document confirming the perk’s renewal says it allows officers “to take advantage of cheaper accommodation” outside London, a position at odds with the MOPAC and Yard’s own joint policy of recruiting more officers from within the capital.
As reported earlier this week, official figures show almost half of the Met’s 30,462 officers live outside the capital.
The issue of officers’ home location is becoming increasingly important as the force seeks to reduce the number of innocent Londoners who are the subject of Stop and Search.
Senior Met officers and (MOPAC) have both suggested that recruiting more officers from within London’s communities is key to reducing the number of Stops carried out and breaking down barriers between the force and public.
Scotland Yard now says it is axing the free travel perk for new officers in an effort to make its recruitment “more London-centric”.
News of the axe was first reported by the Evening Standard newspaper.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “We recognise the importance of the MPS to reflect and be part of London communities and are keen to recruit Londoners.
“Our current recruitment campaign is heavily London focused, we are changing our recruitment process to be more London-centric and we are no longer offering new recruits travel concessions for those travelling into London to encourage London-based officers.”
Gill Barratt, the deputy chairwoman of the Met Police Federation, told the Standard: “As new officers’ salaries are being cut, this is a great incentive to join the police and cutting it will create a two-tier force.”