Metropolitan Police seeks agency help for closures

The Metropolitan Police Aut­hority (MPA) is on the hunt for an agency to advise on property issues, including controversial plans to close down local police stations.

The authority, which oversees the Metropolitan Police Service’s property services department, has put almost £500,000 of business up for grabs within a two to three-year contract.

The successful agency will seek to support the department’s plan to ‘rationalise’ the force’s property portfolio across 32 London boroughs. A spokesman for the MPA said: ‘Many of our buildings pre-date 1940, are expensive to run and inefficient.’

The department has built over 160 safer neighbourhood team ‘bases’ since 2003 and will hold public consultations before closing any pol­ice stations.

In a previous statement released by the MPA, its chair, Len Duvall, said: ‘We recognise that police stations are important landmarks, symbolic of public safety and reassurance, and any proposed changes need to be fully communicated to local people.’

Lack of funding has caused 580 police stations to close since 1997, it is claimed. The Metropolitan Police Service could not confirm how many stations in London have been outlined for closure.

The Metropolitan Police Service plans to build centralised custody centres with 30 to 40 cells in each London borough. Currently cells tend to be dotted around the boroughs, but this is thought to be financially inefficient.

The estate comprises over 600 operational buildings, used by 48,000 police officers and staff, and is valued at a total of £1.7bn.

Between five and 20 agencies will be shortlisted for the work. The incumbent is London Communications Agency.

For more information visit www.infobrokers.co.uk.

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