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Met re-imposes London residency requirement for recruits

The Met have re-introduced the requirement to live in London in order to join as an officer. But chair of the Met Federation, Ken Marsh, says it will have a "detrimental effect".
Published - 13/11/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

The Metropolitan Police has re-implemented the London residency requirement for most entry routes.

The idea is to help the Met achieve its new target of 40 per cent BAME recruits in 2022, outlined today in London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Action Plan on ‘Transparency, Accountability and Trust in Policing’.

The residency criteria was previously introduced in 2014 and lifted in November 2018 when the force needed to recruit a greater number of officers.

From today (Friday 13 November), those registering an interest after that date and ahead of applications being re-opened from January 2021, must have lived or studied in one of the London boroughs for a minimum of three out of the last six years.

A spokesperson from the force said: “Introducing this criteria will help ensure that PCs, who have key community facing roles, join with a knowledge of London so that they can readily and effectively relate to and connect with the people they serve.”

Candidates who registered their interest or submitted their application before Friday, 13th November are not affected by the change and can still join the Met if successful with their application.

The requirements will not apply to those people applying for: The Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme; fast track and future leadership schemes, Police Now or transferees from other forces.

It will also not apply to existing Met staff, Special Constables or volunteers who apply for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship or Police Constable Degree Holder entry programme. But those applying externally on the PCDA or the PCDH will need to live in London.

Current and ex-military personnel will also be exempt.

Ken Marsh, chair of the Met Police Federation, said people will not be ble to afford to live in London and be a probationer.

“It's not rocket science. That’s how it is,” he said. “You wouldn't be able to afford to be serving police officer and live in London.”

“I think it could have a detrimental effect in terms of what they're trying to achieve. I think its ill thought out and a trigger reaction.

"If they're trying to recruit more black officers, what does it matter if they're from London?"

He said senior officers are exempt, which is the case since transferees are exempt.  

“So people who are our leaders who make the decisions about everything that happens  have never worked in London in their life,” said Mr Marsh. “And that seems to be okay.”

“They've not got any insight into the communities of London,” he added.

He also said it “would’ve been nice” to have been consulted on these plans, and instead was phoned last night by Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden to tell him they were to be published today.

Conservative London Mayor Candidate Shaun Bailey said he would lift the requirement on "day one" as mayor.

He said Sadiq Khan "performed a huge U-turn by ending the residency requirement, introduced to make London’s police look like London’s communities, over half of our police live outside the city".

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