Met plans to use profits from online cuddly toy shop to fund police work

Sales of Bobby bears, mugs and notebooks to provide alternative source of income

Scotland Yard plans to use profits from an online shop selling cuddly toys, mugs and notebooks to support policing activity .

Companies will be invited to bid to run the web store next year, selling a range of branded merchandise to members of the public and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) staff.

The plans emerged as the Met said it could privatise services worth up to £500 million, including work linked to court cases and healthcare in custody, as the force battles to maintain officer numbers in response to a 20% cut to its budget.

Notice that the scheme is in the pipeline was published on the Government's contract finder website, which gave a spend profile of £225,000 a year over four years, along with £900,000 capital costs.

A Met spokesman said the actual fee paid to the provider would be established in the tender process.

"The annual figure of £225,000 quoted reflects the Met's current annual revenue from merchandise. However, part of the reason for looking at this option would be to try to increase this revenue," a spokesman said.

"The fee for providing the web-based shop would be established in the tender process as part of the selection criteria.

"Profits from the sale of merchandise are returned to MPS budgets to support policing activity."

The competition for the work is due to commence in January, with firms being asked to "create and manage a web-based shop to sell a range of merchandise to both the internal MPS market and the general public".

The description of the work adds that the shop will sell currently-available products including "Bobby bears, mugs and notebooks" alongside "other products to be determined by both the supplier and the MPS".

The Met set out a range of measuresyesterday to cut costs, with businesses and internal police teams set to competenext year for contracts covering a wide range of services such as finance, human resources, procurement, catering and language services, coming into force in 2015.

Existing contracts for IT, facilities management and transport services will also be re-tendered.

London deputy mayor for policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh said: "Competitive tendering of support services is part of our plans to drive down costs so we can keep police numbers high and ensure frontline officers have the best possible support.

"Competition is an important process to drive up performance and help us cut out waste, so we can be as lean as possible and put more resources into frontline policing.

"Core policing roles are not being outsourced but we are asking the private sector to show the Met where they could come in and provide better police support services at a lower cost."

The Metropolitan Police is already selling 200 buildings, including landmark New Scotland Yard as it faces making cuts of £500 million to its £3.6 billion annual budget.

While there will be an increased number of constables in the wake of the reductions, going from around 24,630 now to 25,909 in 2015, there will be a loss of hundreds of officers in senior ranks.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine