Almost £90 million has been raised from the sale of former Metropolitan police buildings.
The disposals form part of a strategy published by Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor for policing, setting out how the Met will manage its almost 1m square metres of real estate.
A review of the force’s property holdings identified dozens of sites which are no longer needed for operational use and led to the closure of 63 under-used police front counters.
The closures allowed Met bosses to deploy more officers on the capital’s streets, boosting officer visibility and making them more accessible to the public.
Buyers of the surplus sites include the Crown Estate, residential developers, educational foundations and the Lidl supermarket chain.
The Tauheedul Free School Trust has agreed to buy Hackney Police Station for £7.6m while the sale of residential properties in Connaught Gardens has fetched £9.15m.
Funding cuts mean the Met has to find 500m of savings over the next two years. City Hall says receipts from the sales, and the resulting reductions in the maintenance and operating costs, will help meet that target without impacting on frontline policing.
Last year Mr Greenhalgh, head of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), set tough rules for the disposal of any land, making clear to officials the need to obtain maximum value for taxpayers.
By ensuring sales were not subject to planning permission and other considerations, MOPAC has raised more than double the £40m it had budgeted for in the current financial year.
The cash raised so far comes from the disposal of around 30 sites with dozens of other locations still to be sold. Further sums may be payable on some sites subject to any planning and sales overages secured by the buyers.
The money raised from the disposals is likely to soar when the Met sells its New Scotland Yard HQ in central London. The force is due to relocate to the Curtis Green building in Westminster by 2015.
A MOPAC spokesman said: “By putting bobbies before buildings we are making the savings needed to invest in frontline policing.
“Selling old police stations that the police did not need and the public did not visit is the right approach to help balance the budget and now is a very good time to be going to market in London. Income from property sales is helping the Met Police both to modernise the remaining estate and make sure that officers have the modern kit and technology to better serve the public.
“Plus the revenue savings from a smaller and more efficient estate will mean we can afford to keep police numbers high at around 32,000 as the Mayor pledged in his manifesto.”