So, the Metropolitan Police are currently reviewing their property strategy in order to spend their reduced budgets more effectively. Whilst the selling of New Scotland Yard has hit the headlines, they also announced the potential closure of front desks in Police Stations. It is anticipated that police will be accessible in public spaces like shopping centres and libraries. Now, I’m sure library numbers are declining, so that is an interesting proposition. However, I wonder if it’s time for a complete rethink of how public services are delivered especially where they connect with the public.
Is it time to consider public sector hubs or co-working spaces, where spaces and facilities are shared rather than owned by separate entities. We read many news items where child protection has suffered because of a breakdown in communication between social services and the police. What if they worked in the same area, where they could connect more easily? What if decision times could be reduced by co-locating public services?
This could help address the library issue, where they start to become local resource centres, and where they are re-invigorated as a community hub. Is this the area where the much talked about issue of collaboration starts to deliver the cost effectiveness we all crave?
I would love to hear your views