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London Mayor Boris Johnson secures major cash boost for front line policing in historic Scotland Yard sale deal

The Metropolitan Police Service’s world famous New Scotland Yard headquarters has been sold to the Abu Dhabi Financial Group for £370 million in what is the biggest shake-up of the Met’s property estate since the 1960s. Proceeds from the sale are to be invested in cutting-edge technology and a leaner, more modern estate while the Met’s move to a new headquarters – the Curtis Green building on London’s Embankment – is already in progress.

In a landmark deal orchestrated by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the sale secured £120 million more than the guide price and three times what was originally paid for the site freehold back in 2008. Proceeds from the sale will kick-start a major investment opportunity to secure the future of the Metropolitan Police Service, with the funds being used to kit out officers across London with mobile technology such as tablets, smart phones and body cameras, in turn enabling them to spend more time out on the streets. It will also allow much-needed investment in the remaining estate along with modern ICT infrastructure and new software platforms.

New Scotland Yard is also home to many unique artefacts and policing memorabilia dating back to the formation of the Metropolitan Police Service in 1829, none of which are currently on public display. The additional proceeds from the sale mean that a small portion of money raised can be used to relocate this collection to a dedicated museum site, allowing visitors from the UK and around the world to see rare crime artefacts and heritage items that tell the fabulous history of Scotland Yard.

Scotland Yard has been sold in a deal designed to benefit the Metropolitan Police Service but also members of the public

Scotland Yard has been sold in a deal designed to benefit not only the Metropolitan Police Service but also members of the public

Marketed as ‘Ten Broadway’, the 1.7-acre site, 600,000 square foot building attracted intense interest from around the world. In the end there were 11 credible bids with the Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), a multi-billion dollar alternative investment company based in Abu Dhabi, securing the deal.

With a track record of financing major central London developments, including the 1 Palace Street project adjacent to Buckingham Palace, ADFG now plans to create a mixed-use residential development on the site.

The headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service since 1967, the outdated New Scotland Yard building was put on the market by the London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) last September for a guide price of £250 million. No longer fit for operational purposes, the proceeds raised by the sale of the building will be used to deliver on the Mayor’s commitment to balance the Met’s budget and keep policing numbers high.

Once redeveloped and sold, the Victoria Street site is projected to yield up to £100,000,000 million in stamp duty receipts for the UK Exchequer.

Radical overhaul of the Met’s estate

The sale is part of an ongoing radical overhaul of the Met’s estate which has so far raised £215 million through the sale of 52 under-used and outdated buildings. When completed in 2016, this restructure will save London’s police force over £60 million in annual running costs – enough to fund 1,000 officers – and will leave behind a smaller, more modern estate including a brand new training facility in Hendon and a world class forensics lab and Control Centre in Lambeth.

As stated, the operational headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service is now on the move to the Curtis Green building on Victoria Embankment. This building is owned by MOPAC and has been empty since late 2011. Currently undergoing a £58 million transformation into a slimmed down headquarters, this relocation alone will save the Met over £6 million per annum in running costs.

London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson

Commenting on the deal, Boris Johnson said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has a unique place in history and needs a home that’s fit for the future. However, police budgets are under real pressure. The sale of this underused and outdated building means we can now not only protect that rich heritage, but also fund the new headquarters and kit out bobbies with the latest mobile technology to secure the future of the force. This landmark deal allows us to preserve the past while giving today’s Met a vital cash boost such that our officers can continue to safeguard London and its citizens.”

Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime) added: “This deal shows that we were right to put bobbies before buildings. Only by taking the tough decisions to shrink the Met estate and instead focus resources on the fron tline are we now able to invest in the modern kit and technology the police need to fight crime in the 21st Century. The Scotland Yard sale is a win for everyone. Police officers receive the investment in technology they need, Londoners are afforded the modern, efficient police service they deserve and the public purse benefits from a £100 million windfall from stamp duty, in turn helping to fund our schools and hospitals.”

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM said: “Police funding continues to be under extreme pressure. We now expect to need to making savings of up to £1.4 billion by the end of the next spending review, including some £600 million which we will have delivered by 2015-2016. This is equivalent to a third of the Met’s original budget so this money is absolutely vital to us. It will allow us to reinvest in our remaining estate and in the technology needed to support our officers as they fight crime and support victims. It’s only with this kind of intelligent investment that we will be able to do more with less.”

The sale of New Scotland Yard was handled by Jones Lang LaSalle. As the home of the Metropolitan Police Service, Scotland Yard has moved several times before – from Whitehall Place to Great Scotland Yard in 1875, to the Norman Shaw building in 1890 and then on to the current building in 1967. This future move therefore marks a return to nearer its founding location.

As mentioned, the freehold of New Scotland Yard was bought in 2008 for £123.5 million and it would have cost in excess of £50 million to bring the building back up to standard.

The Estate Strategy, launched last year, is available at: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime and covers plans for the entire MOPAC estate including police stations, forensic labs, firing ranges, training grounds, horse and dog centres, offices and custody facilities. It draws on the best examples from both the public and private sectors for space efficiency and modern working. Combined with investment in new and refurbished buildings, this will ensure the Met has a modern, well-equipped and efficient estate suitable for current and future policing.

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London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime launches new Business Crime Strategy

The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has launched a new 48-page Business Crime Strategy designed specifically to help protect London-based companies from acts of criminality.

The crime threat in the UK is changing. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated and more crime has moved off the streets and into the online world. MOPAC’s Business Crime Strategy – endorsed by the Metropolitan Police Service, the National Crime Agency and the City of London Police – outlines how each provider will build their capability to tackle fraud and economic crimes.

This is the first strategy of its kind. It represents a ‘Call to Arms’ for the police, businesses, local authorities and others to work together to build confidence and prevent and cut business crime. More than this, it sets out clear, deliverable plans to achieve end goals, with commitments from MOPAC and law enforcement alongside a challenge to businesses themselves.

Read the document in full

London's Mayor Boris Johnson: tackling crime in the capital

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson: tackling crime in the capital

On the Business Crime Strategy, Stephen Head (Commander and National Police Co-ordinator for Economic Crime at the City of London Police) said: “The threat from fraud, particularly cyber-enabled fraud, continues to grow and every section of society is now at risk. It’s therefore increasingly important that the police and businesses work even more closely together to counter this threat. The collaborative approach advocated by MOPAC and highlighted in this strategy is absolutely right if we’re to be successful in continuing to meet this challenge.”

He continued: “As the National Policing Lead for Fraud, the City of London Police will continue to work with MOPAC and others to ensure that London remains one of the safest and most business-friendly cities in the world, with a policing approach that’s fit and appropriate for tackling 21st Century crimes.”

Affording context to the Business Crime Strategy

Further to this, the following information is designed to give context to information included in the Business Crime Strategy…

Since taking responsibility for Action Fraud in April this year, the City of London Police has instigated a programme of work designed to offer an enhanced service for the victims of fraud and cyber crime. Since the end of May 2014, all victims who report to Action Fraud now receive a written update on the status of their report after 28 days, if not before. Action Fraud also provides expert advice and guidance to concerned individuals or businesses.

Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), hosted and run by the City of London Police, is funded by Government to receive reports of fraud and cyber crimes from individuals, SMEs and large corporations. Outside Action Fraud, it also accepts reports of business fraud through a number of organisations including the UK Payments Council and CIFAS.

The combined Action Fraud and NFIB services do not investigate reported crimes of itself. The NFIB uses cutting-edge technology to automatically identify links between crimes and, in quick time, develops and disseminates crime packages for investigation by UK law enforcement agencies. It also proactively disrupts criminality and enriches the UK fraud and cyber threat picture.

During the 2013-2014 financial year, of the totality of fraud and cyber crimes reported into the NFIB no less than 53,556 packages were identified as having viable lines of enquiry and disseminated to UK law enforcement for investigation or intelligence purposes. In the same time period, some 118,000 additional crimes were targeted for disruption while over 805 alerts were disseminated for prevention purposes.

As the MOPAC Business Crime Strategy demonstrates, CIFAS reports on fraud against businesses. These reports often add value to the thousands of Action Fraud packages disseminated for investigation by UK law enforcement.

It’s important to note that police forces accept crimes for investigation based on the availability of viable lines of enquiry. In the past, forces have prioritised Action Fraud reports over CIFAS because of the quality of the data. However, the NFIB is working with forces and CIFAS to improve the quality of all data to create more opportunities for UK law enforcement to accept and investigate reports.

Informing Government and UK law enforcement

Action Fraud and the NFIB use the large number of reported fraud and cyber crimes to help inform Government and UK law enforcement about the scale of the threat that exists at a local, regional and national level in order to help drive their response to the benefit of victims. This has resulted in some police forces committing considerable additional resources to address these emerging threats.

For example, the Metropolitan Police Service is adding further capability to accept fraud and cyber crime packages for investigation which will then provide an enhanced service to victims.

The City of London Police proactively aims to improve the policing response to fraud and cyber crime and ensure that all business victims receive an efficient and effective service, particularly as reporting continues to increase. For instance, the force is creating a system whereby businesses can easily report multiple instances of fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud.

Additionally, the force plays host to a number of fraud teams and specialist units that service business victims of fraud and cyber crime including the insurance industry, the credit and payment industry and intellectual property rights holders. ​​​​​

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