Khan sets out plan to slash Met Police estate

Hundreds of 'poorly used' buildings across the capital earmarked for disposal or exit in £400m cost cutting drive...

Mayor Khan has published proposals to dramatically cut the Met Police estate across the capital, listing a whole range of “poorly used” buildings and offices earmarked for disposal or exit.

St James’s Park Police Station on Birdcage Walk. Some say the diminutive building has a massive basement extending under the park with space for 50 officers…

The controversial plans are part of a bid to raise £400m over the next four years, and would see the Met’s 32 boroughs left with a single 24-hour counter each (the current total is 73, down from 136 since 2013). Official figures show that only 8% of crimes were reported at police front counters last year, down from 22% a decade earlier.

Introducing the consultation document, Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “Tackling this financial challenge forces us to make some tough choices…our investment in front line policing, and the equipment needed for a 21st century police force, is made possible by selling expensive to run buildings – many of which only support back-office activity – which are underused or no longer needed.”

Here’s just some of the addresses filed under “to be disposed of or exited”…

  • 4-5 Buckingham Gate, Westminster
  • St James’s Park Police Office
  • Regent’s Park Police Office
  • 77-83 Pavilion Road (Ground Floor Offices), Knightsbridge
  • 58 Sirdar Road, Notting Hill

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a sell-off of property assets over the last five years has generated around £1bn for the force.

2014’s sale of New Scotland Yard to Abu Dhabi for resi development was the biggest single deal by far, bringing in £370m. Other notable prime resi projects include Chelsea Police Station, which was bought for £40m in 2015, and a block of flats (1-49 in Kilmuir House) in Belgravia for £45m. The most expensive single residence to be offloaded by the Met in the last five years was an apartment in Sailmakers Court, Fulham, which went for £1.4m back in 2012.

Around 24 police stations have been sold or closed since 2012-3, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association. Overall, 67 “operational” units were sold, as were 20 “residential blocks”, and 84 “residential units”.

Photo Credit:  (CC-BY-SA-2.0)