Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
London's Met Police to launch NYPD-inspired merchandise range
London's cash-strapped Metropolitan Police Service is to launch a range of branded clothing and souvenirs in a bid to boost its funds.
Seeking to emulate the popularity of merchandise bearing the NYPD logo, the Met hopes the plan will help ease the burden of recent budget cuts on frontline policing.
The force, which serves more than eight million people across 620 square miles in the UK capital, has enlisted the branding company The Point.1888, whose former clients have included the country's prestigious Tate art galleries, its Olympic contingent -- Team GB -- and the healthy-fast-food chain Leon.
The Point.1888 will now seek to secure "long-term sustainable licensee partnerships across a spectrum of select retailers," according to a statement. Profits raised from any prospective sales will be reinvested in "front-line police services, training existing staff and building greater affiliation with, and support for the service," with the overall aim of "inspiring future generations to join."
The Point.1888 will work with companies to produce a range of products using the Met logo, the New Scotland Yard Sign, the Met font and color palette and imagery of officers on patrol.
The partnership will also work alongside Transport for London, which operates the capital's transport system and has a successful range of its own merchandise.
Designers are aiming to produce a line of clothing, branded toys and games, stationery, homeware and souvenirs, which the force hopes will raise hundreds of thousands of pounds.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the market for New York Police Department merchandise surged as members of the public looked for ways to demonstrate their support for the city's emergency services.
As a result, sales of unauthorized goods dramatically increased, but the New York City Police Foundation began an aggressive enforcement campaign to shield the public from counterfeit merchandise and protect the value of the NYPD trademarks.
It has executed more than 50 multiyear license agreements for the manufacture and sale of a variety of NYPD products -- from hats and T-shirts to toys and mugs.
Earlier this year, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick told LBC Radio that she was "sure" that cuts to her force's budget had contributed to London's rise in violent crime.
The Met has made £720 million (about $917 million) worth of spending reductions since 2010 and must find a further £325 million by 2021, according to the Mayor of London's office.
Concerns that the merchandise could prevent a security risk were flatly denied by a spokesman for the Met who said: "Absolutely no products will be produced which directly reflect the uniform of the Metropolitan Police Service and any product which attempt to do so will be charged with intellectual property infringement."
Simon Wilson, director of commercial services at the Met, said: "By partnering with the experts at Transport for London and The Point.1888 we are able to utilize the incredible strengths of our brands to drive commercial revenue." He added that the force sees "a huge global opportunity."
Will Stewart, managing director of The Point.1888, said: "I grew up in London, so to be able to generate revenue that puts more bobbies on the beat in my home town is an honor. The Metropolitan Police and New Scotland Yard brands have unbelievable awareness and we will partner with outstanding licensees to help us really make a difference."