Tag Archives: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

FALCON will be “an important addition to the national economic crime prevention capability”

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard has welcomed the Metropolitan Police Service’s announcement concerning the creation of a new fraud and cyber crime team dedicated to protecting Londoners vulnerable to the threat of economic criminality.

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM officially launched FALCON – Fraud and Linked Crime Online – at the QEII Conference Centre in London’s Westminster. The new team will consist of up to 500 officers dedicated to tackling cyber crime, acquisitive crime with an online aspect and fraud that does not have an online element attached to it.

The overall aim is to create a new operating model for the investigation and prevention of fraud and cyber crime in London that will deliver seven key services. These are as follows:

(1) Volume and cyber-enabled investigations
A centralised capability that will remove the onus of investigation of fraud and cyber-enabled acquisitive crime from local policing Boroughs and provide a consistent approach towards investigations

(2) Complex and proactive fraud investigations
A centralised investigations service that proactively targets individual criminals and organised crime groups causing the most harm to individuals and businesses

(3) Pure cyber investigations
An increased capacity to undertake proactive and reactive investigations in response to intelligence or referral (from the national body)

(4) Problem solving, prevention and industry liaison
A capacity to work in partnership alongside businesses with a common purpose of preventing fraud and cyber-enabled fraud. This will enable the Metropolitan Police Service to link more regularly and effectively with business forums and, in turn, encourage the reporting of crime

(5) Victim care
Provision of a service to ensure that all London-based crime victims are recorded and contacted. This will enable the gathering of intelligence to improve future investigative outcomes and also identify enablers designed to support ongoing prevention and enforcement activity

(6) Performance, training and marketing
To provide accurate performance and information to internal and external stakeholders with data relating to both threats and trends

(7) Intelligence
The creation of a fraud and cyber crime intelligence capability

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

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

In summary, Project FALCON is being developed in response to the significant growth in cyber-enabled acquisitive crime. Borough-based police officers will continue to be responsible for investigating cyber crimes involving malicious communications, harassment or cyber stalking.

Speaking at the launch event, Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM explained: “FALCON sees a more focused and joined-up approach by the Met, the business sector and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that we’re protecting the public, designing out crime and arresting the culprits. We will be more powerful if the three of us can work together – the police, the public and businesses.”

Cyber crime challenges faced by Londoners

As the national policing lead for economic crime with responsibility for the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud, the City of London Police has been an active supporter of the Met in addressing the fraud and cyber crime challenges faced by Londoners.

Those challenges are evidenced by the high proportion of reported economic crime assessed by the NFIB that results in disseminations to the Met for consideration of London-based investigations.

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard said: “I welcome the creation of FALCON and the priority this type of crime is being given by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the London Mayor’s Office. These London-based teams will be an important addition to the national capability being developed by the City of London Police, the National Crime Agency and police forces across the rest of the country.”

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

Karen Bradley, Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, added: “The threat from cyber crime is ranked as ‘Major’ in our National Security Strategy and the Government is investing £860 million over five years to tackle this issue. We’re also increasing knowledge throughout local police forces with specialist training. I’m very pleased to see the Metropolitan Police Service’s commitment to dealing with fraud and cyber crime, and I look forward to hearing about the vital contribution FALCON will make to this work.”

*Further detail is available in a Metropolitan Police Service Briefing Note on Cyber Crime. Access: http://www.met.police.uk/docs/cyber-crime.pdf

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Met Commissioner heralds two years of Total Policing successes

Speaking on his second anniversary in the role, Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has stated that he expects to see the biggest percentage drop in recorded crime in the Met for 30 years during the coming year.

Speaking at the Criminal Justice Management Conference 2013, Sir Bernard outlined the dramatic improvements in crime reduction in the past two years under the Total Policing programme he launched back in September 2011.

During that time, recorded crime has fallen by 10.8%, which is more than four times faster than during the previous two years. This has meant there are 64,000 fewer victims of crime per year than when Sir Bernard took office.

Gang crime has also seen dramatic reductions. There have been nearly 40% fewer guns fired than two years ago and knife injuries for people under 25 are down by nearly a third. Serious youth violence has also dropped by more than a quarter.

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Robbery, which had risen by 18% in the previous two years, has fallen by 16% and burglary (which had been rising slightly) is down 7.2% since August 2011.

The numbers of Stop and Search actions have dropped by one third since Sir Bernard introduced the ‘Stop-It’ programme and, at the same time, those stops which are being carried out are more effective (with positive outcomes increasing from 12% in 2010-2011 to 17.4% in the past year to April).

The smart use of technology

The Met Commissioner: “My vision for 21st Century policing is based on the smart use of technology. Total Policing is Smart Policing, fighting crime more efficiently and effectively.”

Sir Bernard highlighted the increased use of ANPR cameras to spot and stop criminals using our roads and new crime mapping techniques to predict where burglars might strike next.

“We’re about to begin piloting IT which will enable our officers to have all the information they need at their fingertips, and be able to carry on working without returning to base – wherever they are.”

Alongside cuts in crime, public confidence and victim satisfaction is rising, up 2% over two years. The Met is answering 999 calls more quickly (within five seconds on average) and getting to urgent incidents with 15 minutes more than 90% of the time (which is well within target).

Better policing within tighter budgets

The Commissioner also highlighted how the Met has delivered this at the same time as restructuring itself to deliver better policing within tighter budgets.

The Met is on track to deliver £600 million in savings and is already saving £25 million per annum in property costs alone.

The Commissioner concluded by stating: “I want Londoners to love, respect and be proud of their Met – we’re here for them. I want people to see us treating all Londoners with equal respect. I want all our communities to have equally high levels of confidence and satisfaction. I want us to use technology to be more responsive to the public while always being one step ahead of the criminals. I want to see the biggest drop in crime for 30 years this year. I want us to be the best by any measure.”

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News

UK private security sector: a “key strategic partner” in the “Total War on Crime”

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM’s vision of a ‘Total War on Crime’ is a fight that the Met is winning, and one in which the private security sector is – according to Commander Steve Rodhouse – a “key strategic partner”.

Speaking at the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Annual Luncheon, Commander Rodhouse – who focuses on gangs and organised crime on behalf of the Met – stated: “Sir Bernard’s vision of policing is for a ‘Total War on Crime’, and you [the private security sector] are key strategic partners in that fight. Without being complacent, it’s a fight that we’re winning.”

Commander Rodhouse elaborated on this last point, stressing that ten years ago the total number of criminal offences topped one million. The statistics have come down every year since then, and by 29% overall.

“Business robberies in particular have seen some dramatic reductions,” explained Commander Rodhouse, “and show no sign of levelling out. Indeed, at the end of June this year the annual reduction stood at 12.7%.” This equates to 344 fewer offences when compared with the previous 12-month period.
Commander Rodhouse was keen to point out that, behind all of the national media headlines, there “has been a great deal of hard work and relationship building between the police service and the security sector”.

Commander Steve Rodhouse

Commander Steve Rodhouse: focus on gangs and organised crime

Private sector business is at the very heart of London’s local communities, of course, in turn providing vital local goods and services. The sector is an essential contributor to economic growth and the regeneration of areas affected by crime and disorder. “Many of the businesses that make London great are highly mobile,” asserted Commander Rodhouse, “and we cannot afford to drive them away by failing to ensure that our city is safe.”

It’s because of the “complexity and the risks” faced by the Met that it necessarily relies quite heavily upon the support of colleagues in both the public and private sectors. Commander Rodhouse continued: “Without your help, expertise and dedication to duty, the successes we enjoy – both in terms of crime reduction and investigations procedures – would not be possible. We have forged strong alliances with your industry around crime prevention, and also when it comes to sharing and developing our intelligence as well as focusing enforcement activity.”

Unprecedented period of austerity

Commander Rodhouse then referred to what is “an unprecedented period of austerity” for the police service. “The Metropolitan Police Service has to save something in the region of £500 million,” he said, “and that is likely to increase. I know that we’re not alone in this as the current economic landscape will affect both the public and private sectors.”

The Met has spent time looking at its options here, and is confident that it can become leaner and more efficient without any form of compromise when it comes to front line policing. “We will deliver more for less,” assured Commander Rodhouse.

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM

At the same time savings are being realised, though, there’s still an ongoing need for investment. There is a need, for example, to invest in the police service’s members of staff by way of training and professional development. That’s true for everyone from officers through to senior management. There’s also a requirement to invest in technology that will assist in the fight against crime in the 21st Century. That technology encompasses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), facial recognition solutions, forensics and the tracking/tracing of individuals and assets.

“The growth and diversification of technology, communications and social media is an issue for us all in the crime-fighting arena,” outlined Commander Rodhouse. “We need to invest in technology that’s flexible and interoperates with other agencies, stakeholders such as yourselves and overseas partners. This will ensure we can maintain control over the movements, communications and finances of the world’s criminals.”

For Commander Rodhouse, the whole process is focused on “getting ahead” of the criminals. “They use technology to commit crime,” he urged. “We must use technology to fight them, not only to prevent crime but also to find and convict those who are responsible. We must not just react to changes in offending patterns. We must be forward-thinking and proactive in our approach.”

According to Commander Rodhouse, cyberspace is a “new and definite target”. He explained: “We know that a growing number of adversaries are looking to use cyberspace to steal, compromise or destroy critical data. We must find ways to confront and overcome these threats. Our economic well-being, infrastructure and homes can all be directly affected.”

In closing what was an excellent speech, Commander Rodhouse offered a core message as he returned to his opening and central theme. “There’s an inextricable and vital alliance between policing and the security sector. That alliance will remain. However, we must never become complacent. Criminals learn and move forward. So must we.”

Response from the BSIA’s chairman

In his response to Commander Rodhouse, the BSIA’s chairman Geoff Zeidler said: “It’s very reassuring to hear that the private security industry is recognised by the police service as an important partner, particularly at a time when budgets remain under pressure.”

Zeidler continued: “Unheralded by the mainstream national media, the past year has seen BSIA members working together with the police on contracts to secure, for example, the 8,000-mile route of the Olympic Torch Relay and events like the G8 Summit.”

BSIA chairman Geoff Zeidler

BSIA chairman Geoff Zeidler

In addition to those higher profile examples, many of the Trade Association’s members enjoy long-standing relationships with their local police forces, in turn helping to tackle ongoing public safety and security threats in local communities with a wide variety of solutions and services.

How, though, might the private security world help the police service in delivering ‘more for less’?

“Senior police officers acknowledge that they police by consent,” asserted Zeidler, “and both public trust and reputation are critical factors for anyone who works with them. This has become even more true with the advent of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Some are opposed to the private sector in principle, often with limited understanding of the industry’s capability.”

Importantly, the BSIA has been tackling this issue head on through a series of Parliamentary Round Table Forums involving PCCs, MPs and local Government representatives. The Forums are all designed to dispel the myth of a ‘privatised police force’.

Zeidler concluded: “Trust and accountability remain the focus of discussion. The BSIA’s efforts – promoting the abilities of its members through Case Studies demonstrating success – are gaining ground. I look forward to the support of all Trade Association members in helping to make certain that this momentum is maintained. Ensuring that this ongoing partnership can flourish is important for us all.”

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News