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Police Scotland off-loads its worst building to meet efficiency target

A former divisional HQ once rated the worst of its buildings has been sold by Police Scotland.

The former main base of Grampian Police has been sold to meet efficiency targets.

Police Scotland revealed it has sold the building in Aberdeen to the city’s council for an undisclosed sum.

Built in 1975, it is the latest stage of a programme to rationalise its estate by sharing offices with other public sector partners.

It also rids the force of a major problem: the Brutalist office block was rated in 2016 as the force's worst in an assessment. 

Now, more than 500 members of staff have been relocated into shared facilities with both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils plus six other police buildings.

Boosting the force’s green credentials is one of the reasons behind the move. The anticipated carbon emissions savings from moving out of the Queen Street station is 793 tonnes per year.

Furniture and equipment has either been repurposed internally or donated to charity and community groups. All unusable items have been broken down and separated for recycling.

Assistant Chief Constable, Local Policing North, John Hawkins said: “Co-location brings a number of benefits to the way we can work together with local authorities to help communities far more than we have been able to in the past. It reduces our environmental footprint and provides financial savings that we can use to invest more in our people and technology.”

It’s part of a plan to dispose of more than 50 stations and other buildings -some empty - that pre-date the force.

When Police Scotland was created in 2013 by merging eight forces part of the rationale was that fewer buildings would be needed as a result.

So far the force has sold 98 buildings including a training centre and former control rooms raising £28.5m.

Buyers have included local authorities, property developers and even a firm of architects.

Selling the Aberdeen site has delivered benefits for both staff and the public, according to the force.

North East Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Kate Stephen said: “Prior to moving staff out of Queen Street we did have instances of some departments being split across locations. We have created six business area hubs where officers and staff are now located in the best location. This includes Public Protection, Criminal Investigation, Operational Support and Partnerships.”

“Our city centre policing team is fully settled and the dedicated service they provide to the city centre community has not changed. The police public counter, situated within the Aberdeen City Council Customer Service Centre is more accessible than it was at Queen Street and the public now has the benefit of being able to enquire about council and police matters at the same location.”

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