New Scotland Yard's headquarters are being sold off to save money, the Metropolitan Police has announced, as the force faces making cuts of more than half a billion pounds by 2015.
The famous headquarters has been in its current location in Victoria since 1967 but will move to a smaller building in Whitehall, in a move expected to save the force around £6.5 million per year, according to the Press Association.
Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation John Tully said the sale of New Scotland Yard was like losing the Crown Jewels.
"It's very regrettable that it's come to this. Clearly it's a building of age and it's got upkeep costs, but the old police authority and now Mopac have had a consistent policy of selling off property and they've now reached the Crown Jewels," he said.
"An iconic building like New Scotland Yard is going to bite the dust.
"The Mayor needs to look at his own office. He sits in a brand new building on the South Bank - why doesn't he sell that to save money? Thousands of people work at New Scotland Yard and it seems to me that there will be a lot of incremental costs to relocate people."
He said there had already been significant investment to refurbish the building, and the sale would be another knock to officers' morale.
While Met bosses have stressed that, despite the cuts, there will be more constables in the capital than ever - 25,000 - Mr Tully said numbers of more senior ranks will be reduced.
He said: "The Mayor has pledged to maintain numbers at about 32,000 but you balance that against cuts, for example 20% budget cuts, then something has got to give and it's going to be sergeants and above, right to the top.
"We have grave concerns around the supervisory ranks that we represent - sergeant, inspector and chief inspector.
"The people who are left are going to be severely challenged, because, to be frank, some of them can't do all of their job now. There are only so many hours in the day.
"The people who we represent have been working their socks off, especially during the last 18 months, and then they have been told that they've got to do more and better and smarter. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth.
"The pressure is piling on and something will break. Hopefully it won't be at the cost of injury or worse."
As part of the property cutbacks, the force could look at co-locating with the fire service and local authorities, and manning "pop-up" desks in supermarkets, Mr Byrne told a meeting at City Hall this morning.
There is also the possibility of police services being provided in post offices, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh said.
Mr Mackey added that the force could build on the public spirit shown during the Olympics to encourage volunteers to help the police.
Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey told the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime the current building is an "expensive building to run and it's an expensive building to maintain and as we go through this change programme it's going to have space in it that we don't need. In central London that's an expensive luxury."
The force paid £124.5 million for the building in 2008 and it costs £11 million per year to run.
The new headquarters will be able to house only 600 people compared with the 3000 strong capacity of the current building.
The iconic revolving sign will be moved with the building when the move goes ahead, reported The Evening Standard.
It is expected that the move will take around two years once approvals are in place.