Met drafts in support for property overhaul

The Metropolitan Police Service has appointed London Communications Agency to handle PR around a controversial overhaul of its police stations.

Police: plan to close stations
Police: plan to close stations

The agency won a competitive pitch for the account with the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which oversees the Metropolitan Police Service's property services department. The agency was previously retained by the MPA but the new brief is a wider remit.

The Met has a strategy to replenish the police estates throughout the 32 London boroughs over five years. A number of police stations could be closed down.

London Communications Agency will handle internal comms for the Met and the property services department. The agency will also handle external relations across stakeholders such as borough planning officers.

The two-year account is being led by account director Suzi Lawrence, who said: 'We will have to communicate a complex change process, using pan-London PR activity.'

It is understood the MPA put almost £500,000 of business up for grabs within a two- to three-year contract.

The Met owns one million square-feet of property in London. Forty per cent of police buildings were built before 1940, and many are now no longer fit for policing.

The Met's property services department has identified that it needs to undertake consultation with stakeholders both internally and externally, at local, borough and regional levels.

In a previous statement released by the MPA (PRWeek, 20 June 2007) 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.'

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