LONDON: London police are looking to sell off their Scotland Yard headquarters as part of a series of budget cuts as Britain struggles to shrink its huge deficit, a senior officer revealed yesterday.
Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said the Metropolitan Police was hoping to save around £6.5m ($10.4m) per year by moving to a smaller base.
The Met moved into its New Scotland Yard offices in 1967. It bought the central London building for £124.5m in 2008 but it costs £11m per year to run.
As the force faces staff cuts, there will be more empty space at the site. “It’s an expensive building to run and it’s an expensive building to maintain and as we go through this change programme it’s going to have space in it that we don’t need. In central London that’s an expensive luxury.”
Police budgets across the country are being cut and the Met has been asked by London Mayor Boris Johnson to make £500m of savings by 2015. It is expected that the move would take around two years once approved.
The force wants to move to a smaller headquarters in central London, still around the Whitehall government district. Around a third of the Met’s 700 buildings will need to be sold off, Mackey said.
The British economy escaped from its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s, official data showed on Thursday, rebounding by 1.0 percent in the third quarter with the help of the London Olympics.