Former Met Police buildings go on sale across London

Former Hackney Central police station. Photo: Knight Frank
Former Hackney Central police station – one of a number of sites currently being marketed. Photo: Knight Frank

In March this year the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) announced that they would be closing a number of police stations as part of moves to save a forecast £60m, with 29 of the buildings to be sold off.

A few days ago I noticed that one of the sites earmarked for disposal – the former Hackney Central police station – had gone on the market with estate agents Knight Frank, resulting in this story for the Hackney Citizen.

The turnaround between the police leaving the building and the site being listed for sale has been quick – less than a month between it closing its doors as a police station and the site being put up for sale.

And a quick browse on property site Zoopla turns up listings for a number of other former police stations which have been listed with similar speed:

A few more stories: Manchester Evening News

Another short post, just to pull together the output of a couple of weeks spent working with Trinity Mirror Regionals’ recently established data journalism unit.

Manchester Evening News logo

The unit have adopted a smart operating model that makes the most of the reach of the Regionals group of papers, and the fact that, when it comes to dealing with national datasets, story ideas can be worked up efficiently by one central team before being offered to local teams.

Similarly, if something works well as an FOI request in one part of the country then in many cases it will work well elsewhere too.

The focus of my work with the unit was therefore on supporting the whole Regionals family. I did find some data/story ideas which lent themselves to stories for the Manchester Evening News, though, and – originating from that part of the country – couldn’t resist writing those myself. Stories as follows:

There also seems to be widespread acceptance across the group of the benefits which a good visualisation can bring to a web story, so I produced a couple of interactive maps, used by the MEN, and the Newcastle Chronicle.

Flooding in south London, police misconduct charges and … Obama’s bunny ears

Another short post, just to link to some things I’ve done in the last two weeks – spent working with the digital news team of the Times and Sunday Times.

Much of my time was spent on a number of longer-term data journalism projects which – until publication – I won’t be posting about.

Needless to say, though, heavy use was The Times masthead smallmade of Google Fusion Tables and ScraperWiki, as well as
healthy amounts of Excel. The fortnight Sunday Times masthead smallgave me the best reason I’ve had to date to experiment with scraping, so that was a really good thing.

I also wrote a number of online news stories, ranging from the serious to the thoroughly silly season. Links to most of the articles I wrote here:

Police officers face charges over strip-search of woman

Basketball team’s prank puts ‘bunny ears’ on the President

Teenagers arrested after ‘swan-nabbing’

Streets in Herne Hill, South London, under water after main bursts

British volunteer women teachers hurt in acid attack in Zanzibar

All behind the great paywall of Wapping, but the first three paragraphs are yours for nothing.