Spending on overtime worked by officers in the Met unit known as ‘Overtime Command’ rose to a massive £16 million in 2022, LondonWorld can reveal.
The Parliamentary and Diplomatic Command (PaDP) came under the spotlight in the review of Met culture by Baroness Louise Casey, as it counts among its former officers Wayne Couzens, who raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and serial rapist David Carrick.
Baroness Casey described it as a “dark corner” of the force. She wrote that it is a “deeply unhappy” unit where officers choose to work for the “prestige” of carrying a gun - and for the levels of overtime available.
Figures obtained by LondonWorld show spending on PaDP overtime rose from £12.49 million in 2018 to £16.87 in 2022. In five years the force spent just over £70 million in total.
According to the Casey report, the PaDP is made up of nearly 1,000 officers and staff - meaning that last year the average overtime paid was around £16,000.
In the first two months of this year, the force spent £2.79 million, meaning it was once again on course to spend nearly £17 million.
Met Police response
A Met Police spokesperson said: "We recognise that the current operating model and resourcing levels within the PaDP mean that the command is heavily reliant on overtime. We are also aware that such a reliance on overtime is having a negative impact on our officers and staff, and can be a contributing factor to poor cultures and standards.”
They said the issue has been identified by an ongoing in-depth review of PaDP which ran in parallel with the Casey review.
"This review into PaDP has had input from an external oversight group co-chaired by Dee Collins, the former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, and Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes,” said the spokesperson.
“The review is nearing its end and it is anticipated that we will be in a position to publish further details in the coming weeks. Within the report, it will include recommendations of changes that we will be looking to make in order to improve our operational delivery, cultures and standards within the PaDP command."
Met Police PaDP overtime spending
Baroness Casey review
The Casey review was told PaDP is known as an ‘overtime command’, where a shortage of staff means officers can - and are required to - work extra shifts.
Many choose to take extra shifts, despite the “monotonous and boring” work during 12-hour shifts in heavy and uncomfortable kit.
One officer said: "This department runs on overtime. A large number of people will be here for overtime. If someone said they wouldn’t come in, we’d fall down.”
The report said many officers see the unit as a way of getting away from local policing.
“It is also seen as an opportunity to carry a firearm, perceived as a mark of prestige by many in the Met,” it said.
Officers had used the overtime to pay off a wedding and to top up their salary before retirement.
But rest days were also cancelled to cover shifts, with officers reporting the impact on mental health and work-life balance. One week there were 270 compulsory rest day cancellations.