Metropolitan Police Station – Case Study

Metropolitan Police Station – Case Study

Fool proof vacant property protection

  • Project: Former Metropolitan Police Station
  • Sector: Property Development
  • Client: Aitch Group
  • Location: Finchley, London, United Kingdom
  • Challenges:
    • Eviction and clean up from squatters
    • Threat of criminal damage
    • Incurring business rate costs

Deterring criminal damage and squatters with live in Guardians.


The former Metropolitan Police Station, situated on Ballards Lane in Finchley, sits on a site of 0.47 acres. With development plans submitted to create a 53-home residential scheme and provide much needed homes in the area, the property sat empty while awaiting planning permission. The site’s owners, property developers Aitch Group, were encountering many problems with criminal damage and squatters whilst it was unoccupied. A significant amount of money had to be spent to gain vacant possession and clean up the mess left behind.


Aitch Group needed a cost-effective security solution to keep their investment secure and free from damage during the planning phase of their residential development scheme. There was also the question of the former police station being liable for the ongoing cost of business rates.


The VPS Property Solutions team recommended using their Guardians Service for the property, providing 10 guardians to occupy the premises. VPS also undertook the task of clearing, cleaning and adapting the police station to ensure it was habitable and compliant with Health and Safety requirements.

With VPS Guardians, there’s a constant presence in and around the property, keeping it safe from threat of squatters returning. There has also been a £40,000 p.a. reduction in business rates. This provides Aitch Group peace of mind that the property is safe and maintained during the planning phase of the residential scheme.


Aitch Group can now be confident that:

  • A robust security solution is in place
  • Business rates have now been mitigated
  • The site is resistant to the threat of squatters
  • Criminal damage is deterred by the active presence of Guardians

Providing Protection by Occupation

An empty property can quickly attract the wrong attention, becoming a target for vandals, thieves and squatters. This is down to a number of factors, ranging from the perceived value of copper and other scrap metals within the property, to the appeal of somewhere warm and dry to take shelter. As well as giving you the peace of mind that your property is safe and secure, the VPS Guardians can also help mitigate empty property business rates.

We carefully screen our guardians, helping to ensure the calibre of the individuals we place in your property, leaving you reassured that your property will be secure for the entire time it’s in our care.

Our service begins with a free, no-obligation site risk assessment, enabling us to identify specific risks to your property and advise you on the most suitable solutions to ensure the on-going security of your asset.

In addition, all properties secured by VPS Guardians have regular monthly inspections allowing us to keep a watchful eye over your property, alerting us to any changes that may have occurred.


VPS Guardians

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