When The Music Stops or #CutsHaveConsequences

#CutsHaveConsequences is a hashtag that’s been used a lot in the past few weeks, and rightly so. It got me to thinking.

Every single Force in the land has suffered cuts since 2010, all in the name of Austerity. Their respective PCC and Chief a Constable have formed plans to cope with the savagely slashed budgets.

In London Boris seems to have made selling off the family silver one his priorities.

The big one that hit all the headlines was the selling off of New Scotland Yard.  Bought for £123.5 million in 2008, it sold last year for £350, a nice little earner.  I suspect there will be some Tax to pay on the profit.  I suspect there will be costs associated with the move out of NSY to Curtis Green Building and I believe that the Met proposes spending between £30 and $50 million pounds to refurb Curtis Green and make it fit for purpose.

The profit margins are receding.

Then there is the fact that the Met has sold off about 35 of its major buildings including nearly 30 Police Stations for about £125 million.and Boris apparently plans to sell off up to 200 properties across London, although admittedly that figure will include Married Quarters and Section Houses.  Ultimately he proposes reducing the number of residential properties from 862 to a mere 200.

Now the thing that gets me about all this frenzied selling off is “where do the people go?”  Has the Met suddenly taken up Hot Desking?  The people displaced from NSY will not all fit into Curtis Green Building.  Other ‘support’ buildings are also threatened with closure.

In any or all of these buildings there will be (not an exhaustive list by any means);

  • People answering telephones
  • People operating computers
  • Desks for people to work at
  • Lockers for the Operational Officers (and hopefully some changing facilities)
  • Rooms set aside for specific Teams/Squads
  • Filing Cabinets (the Met still has a mountain of paper not yet shredded)
  • Garage facilities for the car
  • Car Parking facilities if you’re lucky and a member of the SMT

Am I being thick here, but if you reduce the number of buildings, the people who worked there either have to be displaced elsewhere or ‘got rid of’.

If they’re displaced elsewhere those elsewheres become overcrowded do they not?

If they’re ‘got rid of and join the ‘disappeared’ somebody else has to take up their work and increase their own workload.  I do not believe that there was a mound of spare capacity just waiting for extra work to land.

This here Austerity is due to be with us until at least 2019 allegedly.  Boris’s £125 million won’t last him very long and where will he get the next bundle of cash from once it has run out?  Why should he care? He won’t be Mayor for much longer.

Do not think for one moment that this is anywhere near the End Game, it isn’t, and if Austerity can knock the Met sideways like this, just think what it’s doing for your local Force.

So, when the music stops, grab a chair, grab a locker or grab an office.  They may not be with us much longer, Tesco et al could become the norm.

LeytonstonePolice_McLellan-23.jpg MCILG-police-206.jpgNo, these officers are not taking a sneaky break, they’re there officially to ‘meet the public’ rather than have a Front Counter remain open.  The police officers had no desk, no private area where they could speak to members of the public in confidence, no means of logging on to the police national computer etc, and they appear not to have official forms.

Contact Points, Coffee With A Cop, Chat With A Cop, call them what you may, they’re a pretty poor substitute for going to the local nick, with all the necessary forms and computers at hand, to report whatever is on your mind. AND NOT BEING OVERHEARD BY THE LOUT WAITING FOR A LATTE.

Bernard Hogan-Who To Buck The Trend

BHH has apparently predicted that the Met can do something better than any other public sector organisation has managed to do to date.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has predicted the force’s deployment of mobile technology will buck the trend of failing public sector IT projects and deliver benefits both to victims of crime and officers.

All frontline officers are supposedly to be issued with data-connected tablets on which they’ll be able to record details of crimes, photograph evidence and issue crime reference numbers without needing to return to base.

Now don’t laugh, but he has combined ‘the best Police leaders’ with ‘the best IT leaders to oversee the project.  No danger of anything going wrong there then.  BHH says that he “is confident that our investment will pay off”.

At the same time he sought to reassure that an increase in dependence on IT will not be used as an excuse to reduce officer numbers, despite the recently announced further budget cuts.

All I can say is that they’d better be buying TonkaPads because if something can be broken, Met cops will break it, lose it, run it over or drop it down the toilet.

I can see the need to do something with IT because all the Police Buildings in London seem to be pubs or very expensive flats/apartments. now.  I dread to think where locker space is provided, and I’m pretty certain the Snooker Rooms went years ago along with the Plan Drawer’s Office.  No space for writing Crime Reports up, maybe this is all part of a Master Plan to reduce crime, make it more difficult to record.  Of course the IT on these tablets will be faultless with 100% reliability meaning no down time.

It’s a common sight in DeadBadgerShire to Police Vehicles parked up in a layby with the single-crewed officer tapping away at a keyboard within.  Saves on fuel and wear n tear as well reducing trips back to the Station.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, gadgets (not Gadget) but gadgets and gizzmos have to be part of the solution in an area like Policing, not the whole solution.  Is it only me that thinks that chatting to a crusty PC (are there any left?) or a sweaty DS when you go back to record the crime can sometimes have a positive outcome in relation to the crime you’re recording. Not always but sometimes.  Gods knows, clues are few and far between, anything helps.  Hitting SEND at the end of keying it in and giving the victim the corresponding crime number seems a little bit clinical and unsatisfactory to me, but I’m also aware that with dwindling numbers, and far worse to come, extravagances like chatting to the Crime Desk DS are on the way out, or probably already gone in some Forces.

Anyway it’s all going tom paid out of the proceeds of New Scotland Yard being sold off, so it can’t be all bad, can it?

Police Technology

A Nice Little Earner Boris

This one is for all you Larndarners, NORF, SARF, it doesn’t really matter cos Boris has sold you out anyway.

I’ve blogged before about MOPAC selling off the family silver, most recently NSY has gone, as you will have heard.

Well if any of you are interested in what has been happening to the Met’s Estate then read on, if not, duck out now.

Below are details of the Met’s properties that have been sold off 2013 up until end of August this year. I don’t know if NSY has completed yet, but it doesn’t seem to feature yet.

Name of site
disposed of
Address &
Postcode
Value of
sale,
£’000
Purchaser
name and description
Expected new use Public Access
Prior to
Closure (Y/N)
Julian
Headon House – Office
West Hendon
Broadway, Edgware, Hendon, NW9
7AL
£3,250 Torah
Vochesed
Buildings Ltd
Private school for
Jewish community
N
Spring Court –
Residential
35 Station Road,
Sidcup, DA15
7EA
£1,149 Mr PJ and
Mrs BT Sherlock
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Kingsbury
Police Office
5 The Mall,
Kenton, Middlesex, HA3
9TF
£500 Bellway
Homes Ltd
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
Walthamstow Former Police Station 360 Forest Road, London, E17 5JQ £1,006 E17 Met Ltd Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential Y
Richmond
Former Police
Station
8 Red Lion Street,
Richmond,
Surrey, TW9 1RW
£2,700 Snowfinch
LLP
Ground floor
commercial, upper floors residential
N
Kingsground –
Residential
1-11 Kingsground
and
134-144 Eltham
Hill,
Eltham, SE9 5ED
£1,271 Wilson
Homes
(London) Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Hanwell
Former Police
Station
169 Uxbridge
Road,
Ealing, W7 3TH
£950 Octo
Investments
Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Amelia Street
– Light
Industrial
2-16 Amelia
Street, Walworth, London, SE17
3PY
£3,400 Family
Mosaic Home Ownership Ltd
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
St John’s
Wood Former
Police Station
20 Newcourt
Street, London, NW8
7AA
£8,555 Newcourt
Property
Holdings Ltd
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Mackenzie
Trench House
– Residential
363 Lillie Road
London, SW6
7PD
£3,250 Cherwell (Lillie Road) Ltd. Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential N
3-5
Radbourne
Road – Office
3-5 Radbourne
Road
London, SW12
0EA
£1,115 Radbourne
DCP Ltd.
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
N
Willesden
Green Former
Police Station
965 High Road
London, NW10
£2,550 Gargreen
Ltd.
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
Y
Winchmore
Hill Former
Police Station
687 Green Lanes
London , N21
£900 AMC Trust Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Leyton
Former Police
Station
215 Francis Road
London, E10
£1,250 Uptime
Properties
Ltd.
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Harold Hill
Former Police
Station
Gooshays Drive
London, RM3
£1,625 Lidl UK GmbH Redevelopment for retail N
1-8 Park Close, Windsor – Residential Brook Street
Old Windsor, SL4
£2,250 The Crown
Estate
Refurbishment / redevelopment for residential N
Battersea
Former Police
Station
112-118
Battersea Bridge
Road
London, SW11
£6,000 Linden
Limited
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential
Y
Connaught
Gardens – Residential
Connaught
Gardens 5-9 & Flats 10-27
London, N10 3LH
£9,150 Pantheon
Services Limited & Muswell Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
N
Clapham
Former Police
Station
51 Union Grove
London
SW8 2QU
£4,500 Lexadon
(Union Grove) Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Muswell Hill
Former Police
Station
115 Fortis Green
London
N2 9HW
£3,525 Station
House (Muswell Hill) Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
East Ham
Former Police Station & Section
House
4 High Street
South London E6 6ES
£3,350 London
Design and Engineering UTC
Education Y
Brockley
Former Police
Station
4 Howson Road
London
SE4 2AS
£2,050 Holbrook
Investments
Limited
Refurbishment /
redevelopment for residential
Y
Chadwell
Heath Former
Police Station
14 Wangey Road
Chadwell Heath
Essex
RM6 4AJ
£1,000 Al Huda
Welfare
Foundation
Education / community N
Orpington
Former Police
Station
The Walnuts
Orpington
BR6 0TW
£2,307 Berkeley
Homes (Eastern Counties) Limited
Comprehensive
redevelopment for residential / health care
Y
Hackney
Former Police
Station
2 Lower Clapton
Road Hackney E5 0PA
£7,600 Tauheedul
Free School
Trust
Education Y
Whetstone
Former Police
Station
1170-1172 High
Road London N20 0LW
£4,150 Alma
Primary
Education Y
Golders Green Police Station 1069 Finchley
Road London NW11 0QE
£5,312 Derbyhaven
Services
Ltd., & Ellora Enterprises Ltd., & Adria Services Ltd.
Residential / community Y
Harrow Road
Police Station
325 Harrow Road,
London
W9 3RD
£9,000 Redrow
Homes Ltd.
Residential Y
Wanstead
Police Station
Spratt Hall Road,
Wanstead, London, E11 2RQ
£1,635 Sunil Kumar
Goel &
Ajanta Gupta
Residential Y
East Dulwich
(New) Police
Station
173-183 Lordship
Lane London SE22 8HA
£6,400 Harris
Federation
Education Y
South Norwood Police Station 11 Oliver Grove
London
SE25 6ED
£2,300 Secretary of State for Communities
and Local
Government
Education Y
Barnes Green
Police Office
96-102 Station
Road Barnes SW13 0NG
£10,005 Berkeley
Homes (Central London) Limited
Residential N
Pan London
Residential
Various £4,128 Various Residential N
Highgate
Police Station
407-409 Archway
Road London N6 4NW
3,575 Bellway
Homes
Limited
Residential N
Barking
Police Station
6 Ripple Road,
Barking
IG11 7PE
925.00 Resco
Investments
Limited
Residential Y
Wealdstone
Police Station
74 High Street
Wealdstone
HA3 7AF
950.00 Meso
Investment
LLP
Residential N
Marylebone
Police Station
1-9 Seymour Street London
W1H 7BA
3,000 Seymour Street Nominees Limited &
Berkeley Street Nominees Limited
c/o The Portman Estate
Mixed use redevelopment Y
Tabor Grove 22 Tabor Grove
Wimbledon
SW19 4EB
1,635 Southpoint
Capital
Limited
Residential/office N
Hampstead
Police Station
26 Rosslyn Hill
London
NW3 1PD
14,105 The
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Education Y
West Drayton
Police Station
Station Road
Hillingdon
UB7 7JQ
2,200 Area Estates
Limited
Residential N
Chalk Farm
Garage
5-17 Haverstock
Hill London NW3 3NN
2,000 Cambridge
Gate Properties Limited
Residential/retail N
Sydenham
Police Station
179 Dartmouth
Road London SE26 4RN
1,455 Sydenham
PS Limited
Residential Y
Norbury
Police Station
1516 London Rd.
Norbury
SW16 4ES
940.00 Norbury PS
Limited
Residential Y
Pan London
Residential
Various 3,957 Various Residential N

 

Now my basic abacus makes this just shy of £124 million.

Is is worth it?  Is that really enough to make a difference.  Where on earth are all your lockers and kit going going to be? Back room as Tesco (other supermarkets are available)?

In addition to this there are also plans to sell the following in the next year or so;

Chelsea Police Station

Buckingham Gate

A 5 metre wide strip of land on Isle of Dogs (god knows what that is)

Residential Property Treetops, 4A The Drive, George Road, Coombe Hill, Kingston, Surrey.   I have no idea who used to live here, but no.2 sold in 2009 for £3.75 MILLION, so not a PC I’m guessing.

treetops  TREETOPS

Residential Property 17 Canonbury Park North.

Buckingham Gate, who could forget Buckingham Gate??  I don’t know if the County Forces have the equivalent, a dedicated Feeding Centre for those on Aid to Central London etc.  A fantastic building with great atmosphere, catering staff would always greet you with a smile and a cheery comment, no matter what the time of day, although they did sometimes give us curry for breakfast, but who cared?  A great place to swap your Beat Duty Helmet for somebody else’s if yours was a bit tired (allegedly) and those a little older than me inform me that it was the building in which the official enquiry into the sinking of the Titanic was held.  So not short on history either, but let’s just sell it off.

So there you go Londoners, a little bit more history goes down the pan, and will it REALLY help.  It sounds like a lot of money to us, but set against the operating budget for the MPS is it?

You Can Not Be Serious – But You Know He Probably Is

A short one today.

Thank you @J_amesP for bringing this little pearl to my notice.

Boris is a politician, pure and simple. He has already politicised the agenda, and quite possibly the actuality, of policing in London in his guise of ‘PCC’ for London.

Now he wants to take control of the CPS and Courts system within London.

Lord Boris of Londinium, I can hardly begin to list the different ways in which that would simply be WRONG, not just a bad idea, just WRONG.

The last time I looked at a map of of the world, London was in the United Kingdom and not North Korea. What kind of legal system would this so-called civilised country have if one person (and a few minions) had control of the entire judicial system within the M25 boundary?

Do I detect the sound of an Apocalyptic Horseman whinnying in the background?

I would like to think that Boris can’t be serious, but I fear that he may be.

Discuss