Police Scotland has earned £28 million from property sales since 2013
Police Scotland has earned more than £28 million over the past eight years by selling off properties, including old police stations, new figures show.
The most lucrative was the former Strathclyde Police headquarters at 173 Pitt Street, Glasgow, for £9.6 million in 2018, while the former police training school at 7 Chambers Street in Edinburgh fetched £3.3 million in 2017.
The ex-Strathclyde headquarters is being turned into more than 400 flats for rent in a reported £78 million housing scheme called Holland Park after being snapped up by private developers.
Other transactions include the former city centre police station in Edinburgh’s High Street for £2.35 million in 2019 and the ex-Livingston police station, sold for £1.3 million in the same year.
Overall, 96 property sales were completed between 2013 and 2020 for a total of £28.5 million, according to figures released by Police Scotland to the PA news agency under a Freedom of Information request.
The cheapest was the sale of an old police office in Orleans Place, Menzieshill, Dundee, for just £5,000 in 2016. Local newspaper reports say the office closed in 2000 and was bought by Dundee City Council.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Scotland’s policing estate has been built up over the course of several decades and some buildings are no longer in the right place or operationally fit for purpose.
“Many police station sales were as a result of properties declared surplus by legacy forces although the sales occurred post-formation of Police Scotland.”
Police Scotland, the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police Service, with 23,000 officers and staff, was formed in April 2013 when eight regional forces were merged. It is split into 13 local policing divisions.
In January’s draft Budget, the Scottish government announced a £1.3 billion investment in policing, including a £60 million increase in its revenue budget, which finance secretary Kate Forbes said would effectively wipe out the force’s deficit.
The Police Scotland spokesperson said most decisions to sell assets “were taken after lengthy and detailed consultation with our partners and local communities and this process remains the same today”.
He added: “In the vast majority of cases, police stations which were closed were moved to new, modern, co-located accommodation within the same towns or officers were moved to new police stations nearby.
“The demands and risks facing policing have changed significantly over the years and will continue to do so in an ever-changing Scotland and indeed world.
“However, Police Scotland recognises that local police stations remain important to local communities and that they help to promote and enhance local engagement between our police officers and the communities they serve.”