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London’s police may sell Scotland Yard

London’s Metropolitan Police force is considering selling New Scotland Yard to cut costs.

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The New Scotland Yard building in London on Jan. 27, 2011. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

London’s Metropolitan Police force is considering selling New Scotland Yard, its iconic headquarters known for its revolving triangular sign, to help the police save £500 million by 2015, the Guardian reported.

New Scotland Yard is the Met’s third headquarters building since the public began calling the police force office Scotland Yard after the small street running behind its Whitehall Place location in the late 1890s, BBC News reported.

The cash-strapped police force claims that the building, which they moved into in 1967, needs £50 million worth of renovations and is too large for their needs, the Guardian reported.

The plan calls for a downsized headquarters staff to move from Victoria, central London, to a smaller office in Cannon Row, according to the Guardian.

The Met is also planning to cut costs by selling police stations in Richmond, Willesden Green, Highbury Vale, Walthamstow and south Norwood, BBC News reported. The deputy commissioner is proposing to place police in locations such as shopping centers and supermarkets instead.

While the cost-cutting plans have yet to be presented to and approved by the mayor's office for police and crime and the London assembly, according to the Guardian, the idea was not immediately embraced.

John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said selling Scotland Yard was like losing the "Crown Jewels,” BBC News reported.

Joanne McCartney, Labour's police and crime spokesperson at City Hall, didn’t like the sound of police "contact points,” according to BBC News. "It is unclear whether these will be stations, front counters or a stall in a supermarket for a couple of hours a week,” she said. “This is not adequate and Londoners deserve a better level of service."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121030/london-police-may-sell-scotland-yard