Tuesday, 26 January 2010



This is one police story that won't dissolve into the media ether in a hurry.

To begin with, let us examine what the NPIA is, and what it's supposed to do.

The NPIA stands for the National Police Improvement Agency. According to its website at http://www.npia.police.uk/

"Policing is vital to public safety, NPIA is part of the police service. Our purpose is to make a valuable contribution to improving public safety".

It goes on . . . .

"We provide a large and diverse portfolio of products and services designed to support the police service and wider policing family. Our market operates both in the UK and internationally. As a policing organisation we act as a central resource to ACPO and police forces, working with authorities and the Home Office to help improve the way policing works".

The NPIA has a variety of roles in policing, including stewardship of the DNA database and rolling out new technology and communications systems across the service.

The 'About Us' page on their website states "The NPIA was formed in April 2007, its purpose being to make a unique contribution to improving public safety".

The NPIA's purpose is to make a unique contribution to public safety. The business plan for 2009-10 sets out what they plan to do to achieve this and the objectives against which their performance will be measured.

It has been developed against a backdrop of changes to the police service and in society due to the economic slowdown. These things mean they need a business plan that is flexible and far-sighted.

Last year they promised to develop a strategy to cover all their work. The resulting National Improvement Strategy for Policing (NISP) is what they have based their business plan on. The aim is that NISP will help partners in ACPO, APA and the Home Office to take a long-term view about the police.

The NPIA Capabilities are listed as :-

• Strengthening leadership in the service at all levels
• Developing the skills and professionalism of the workforce
• Implementing effective operational processes, practice and doctrine
• Increasing the efficiency of service delivery by forces
• Transforming the way information, evidence, knowledge and science is used
• Continuously improving the delivery of national services
• Enhancing the UK's role in global security.

This all sounds very commendable on paper. The NPIA is tasked with the job of increasing police efficiency and to improve standards within the service. It would not seem unreasonable to expect that the agency charged with this important responsibility, should lead by example, setting the highest moral standards.

The Times newspaper recently revealed that in fact the NPIA, rather than setting a fine example to the service, is disgracing it still further with its “gravy boat” culture at the very top of British policing.

Let's start with its Chief Constable, Peter Neyroud (pictured above).

Mr Neyroud is the £195,000 a year boss of the Agency. Not an unreasonable salary you might think, taking into account the level of responsibility associated with the position. However, Mr Neyroud’s employment package includes a Westminster apartment — in a block that has a gym, pool, sauna and valet parking — within walking distance of the agency offices. It cost the taxpayer £23,200 in 2008-09.

As a perk of the job, the flat has an income tax demand of approximately £9,000 a year, which the NPIA confirmed it has paid for a number of years. Sources from Revenue & Customs described the situation as “unusual” and pointed out that if the NPIA was paying Mr Neyroud’s tax bill that amounted to another perk, which was also liable to tax.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the campaign group, the Taxpayers’ Alliance condemned the package saying “It is appalling that this quango is spending taxpayers’ money on swanky accommodation for their top brass while frontline policing struggles to get the job done on limited resources. The NPIA shouldn’t be handing out these generous benefits at all, and it certainly shouldn’t be trying to cover the cost of tax on them as well. Taxpayers and ordinary police officers are incredibly frustrated by this kind of waste.”

The NPIA is spends £19 million a year on consultants and recently employed an external contractor as its director of resources, paying him £296,000 — including accommodation costs — not a bad little number for seven months work.

The Agency senior managers have faced criticism before. They shared £82,000 in bonuses in 2008-09 and earlier this year Peter Holland, its chairman, claimed £46,000 expenses in two years — including £2,800 on meals at the RAC Club in Pall Mall.

An NPIA spokesman defended the provision of a second home for Mr Neyroud and his deputy, stating that his family home is more than 120 miles from London. In fact, it seems that Mr Neyroud's permanent home is actually 50 miles from London and in an area where many London commuters live.

One Oxford resident commented in the Times : “Neyroud lives in Oxford and was our chief constable. That’s 45 miles from London, not the 120 listed. Oxford is within easy commuting distance. I and tens of thousands of others do it every day without the need for public subsidy or our tax bills paid. I do not think I have seen a worse case of public sector greed”.

Closer examination of the most recent NPIA accounts make interesting reading too.

• 2008-09 accounts show Mr Neyroud was paid £190-195,000 p.a. with benefits in kind of £14,331.
• His lump sum pension at age 60 £600-605,000
• The role of Director of Resources was filled by Donald Muir, a contractor, from 1 July 2008 until 15 February 2009. Fees for this service, including accommodation costs met by the NPIA, amounted to £296,000.
• The Director of Resources, John Beckerleg, left on 30 June 2008 and received a severence payment, including lieu of notice, of £64,000.
• The Chief Executive Officer (Neyroud) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Barker-McCardle ) are provided with accommodation as part of their role. The cost of this, in 2008/09, was £23,200 and £22,900 respectively.
• The NPIA is currently reviewing the tax treatment and will bear any tax that may fall due.
• Jim Barker-McCardle (Deputy) was paid £160-165,000
• His lump sum pension at age 60 £505-510,000
• Peter Holland, Chairman was paid £95-100,000
• 4 other senior management are collectively paid £535-555,000
• 2032 staff (Why??) 1258 permanent, 64 Home Office staff, 266 seconded officers, 444 temp contractors with staff costs of £101,211,000 (£91million 07/08)
• They own land and buildings worth £70,762,000 {Inc Bramshill}(conveniently similar to the £70million Alan Johnson wants to knock off the overtime bill). Private sector businesses often sell property and have it rented back to them to realise cash (called sale & leaseback).
• They own dwellings worth £3,062,000 & vehicles worth £1,549,000
• Plant & machinery £3,580,000
• Communications equipment £138,142,000
• IT Hardware £28,710,000
• Web Development £1,020,000
• Fixtures & fittings £6,797,000
• ANTIQUES £2,113,000
• Assets Under Contruction (?) £21,445,000

Total Tangible Assets £278,361,000

• They are owed £34,850,000
• They owe £71,729,000
• Cash in bank and at hand £5,245,000
• Cash in bank/at hand same time 2008 £42,254,000
• Fixed and current assets total £345million
• Deducting liabilities, the balance sheet is positive to the tune of £257million


The following are services that the NPIA should be charging out more than they cost to deliver, but look at this :-

Fees and Charges


• Fingerprint identification (IDENT1) 32,973,000
• Police National Computer (PNC) 29,526,000
• National DNA Database (NDNAD) 9,517,000
• Project support charges 42,709,000
• Other information services 70,918,000
• Information services 185,643,000
• Exams and Assessment 5,427,000
• Learning and Development Services 16,840,000
• Leadership Development Services 6,646,000
• Other people and development services 12,290,000
• People and development services 41,203,000
• Property recharges 22,432,000,000
Total Costs £285,870,000


Total Income £49,784,000

Deficit -£236,086,000
In short, from the accounts, it appears that they are spending hundreds of millions more than they receive in fees and grants from forces and the Home Office.

If this were a private sector company, some serious questions would need to be asked. They do not appear to be generating surplus (profit) at all, and as such the £236million deficit on services would appear to be a direct taxpayer drain.

There were suggestions on the Times site for a Home Office Investigation to be conducted. This would be totally wrong. Any enquiry should be independent of political influence.

The Times article received many positive posts from readers, a number of whom were sympathetic with the frontline officers who are being well and truly stiffed rotten by the Chiefs.

There was a time when the distinction of high rank in public service, together with the job security and the prospect of a gong, was thought compensation enough for a chief constable’s modest pay. But now that is clearly no longer enough for them.

Alas, the same is true everywhere in the upper echelons of the state sector, where the spirit of public service has been supplanted by naked greed.

There is undoubtedly a great deal of good work done by ACPO, the APA and the NPIA. However, for public confidence to be fully restored, accountability must begin at the top, with full transparency and independent scrutiny of each agency to assess its viability and value to the srvice and tax paying public.

On the basis on what we have seen here and revealed in previous reports view here and here there is a lot of dirty washing that needs airing before any progress will be made.


Anonymous said...

I have long preached that the police are 'out-of-control' and, as with all rotten eggs, it starts at the top.
I believe (just!) that there are still enough decent cops on the streets to make the service 'come good', but not unless we can completely re-organise at the top.
Elected Chiefs?

Hogday said...

I remember PC Neyroud! Blimey, time to dig out my diary.

archytas said...

I ran a university project I hoped to turn into a credible, practical critique of policing and the legal system. Being traumatised as a victim meant I had to give up.
In the two years I came across many 'men in suits' wandering about being paid for, but not doing police work. It is out of control.
One guy who'd been a plod all his working life was doing more than any of these highly paid votaries.
Still raw at this blogging stuff. I'm allcoppedout via wordpress. Pro-police, but beleive the dismal dirt has to come out to get us back to sanity.

Crime Analyst said...

Dickie & HD - thanks for that!

ACPO next, let's see what that turns up eh?

Archy - Welcome aboard! Good luck with the blog, just posted a link to you in or side panel to the right. Drop by any time.

archytas said...

Thanks CA. Yours is the most interesting stuff I've come across so far - perhaps appealing to my academic bent. What surprises me so far is how hard it is to dig up real crime stats and how easy it is to find dross in the academic journals. I'll spend a bit of time reading around. So far I have found nothing to suggest the system is open to criticism.
Archytas invented a steam pigeon to entertain children in times BC - possibly a greater event in crime prevention than anything from the PIA!

TheBinarySurfer said...

Excellent post. ACPO needs to be banned same as the NBPA and other special interest or consulting groups need to be. Impartiality means just.

Crime Analyst said...

Archy - Have a look at the "View our reports" section on the right hand side bar lower down. Past years BCS, recorded crime (Back to 1898!), pop stats, force strengths, budgets, justice stats, prison populations, immigration, convictions, CPS, Court results etc. We source our data from all over, Home Office (hah!), Office of National Stats, Dept 4 Transport, DVLA, MOJ, etc. Bringing all those data sources together produces interesting results. Back tracking posts you will find links to documents on our server. Have a wander and download anything useful.

You can get me via the e mail address at the footer if you want. (Anonimity assured). We're in touch with 50 or so police bloggers & keep strictest anonomity for those who prefer.

I'm ex job too, west mids) having left 30 years ago now. I have every sympathy for the frontliners.

Many Chiefs are a different breed these days, greedy and oblivious to policing at the sharp end. When gaffers milk the system for obscene levels of personal gain, perpetuating the fantasy of ever decreasing crime, I get fired up to dig a little deeper.

The police bloggers collectively do a brilliant job raising public awareness under their forced cloak of anonymity. It was an overwhelming desire to help in some small way that drove me to start, to help their efforts to expose the pernicious conspiracy of deceit that exists in the system.

It remains to be seen if the politician that read these pages will be content to bury their noses in the trough or actually roll their sleeves up and take on the tough challenge of turning this ship around.

If we can make some small differences, then it might be worthwhile. Rant over!

BINARY .... Thanks for that. I have to say I was chuffed to hear Chris Grayling and Sir Hugh have crossed swords already. Chris posted a new year letter of thanks to police officers via this site a few weeks ago. We now copy him (and other colleagues) in on most of our posts, analytics and findings in the hope that he will find some of it useful if and when he takes office.

Over coming weeks we will be having a look at ACPO, the APA and all the other expensive and doubtful "Jobs for the boys" police quangos.

We believe it's high time that common sense and fairness was restored to policing so that the front line copper can do the job he joined to do, to lock up scrotes. From bureacracy to fiddled crime stats, from a risk averse culture to the perverse drive for detections, from greedy Chiefs to excessive political interference, there's plenty that needs fixing. I believe the aswer lies more with the experienced frontliners, who face the realities of policing every day.

Woe betide a business these days that fails to listen to its staff who are in touch with the coal face of its customers. Senior officers with their next promotion uppermost in their minds are the furthest away from the real world coal face of policing our society, so it makes sense that whilst they may talk a good strategic talk, they know very little of the battle tactics needed to keep our streets safe. Btw Binary, seen many of your posts on my travels around the blogs, good content mate.

Keep visiting, plenty more where this lot came from.

All the best
Steve (Long since 'ex' DC West Mids)

Micah said...

Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.

Blue Knight said...

Policing today seems to be more about systems and statistics than outcomes and results. A.C.P.O. has led us all up the garden path.

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