Almost £1 billion of London property have been sold off by the Met Police over the past five years amid steep funding cuts, official figures show.

Hundreds of flats and buildings, some owned by the Met since the 19th century, have been bought from the force since 2012-13.

The old Battersea operational unit, owned by Met Police since 1859 and sold off for £6 million in 2014, is one of the 24 police stations shut down or sold.

By far the most lucrative deal was the sale of New Scotland Yard in 2016, which went for £370 million to investors from Abu Dhabi for luxury flats

In total 67 "operational" units were sold, as were 20 "residential blocks", and 84 "residential units".

Responding to the findings, the Metropolitan police said the sales meant more resources were "available for effective and accessible policing" and that money would be invested in updating remaining buildings and improving IT services.

A Met spokesperson said: "The Metropolitan Police Service has a duty to provide the best value for Londoners and make sure all its resources are delivering the best possible policing services."

Scotland Yard has had to make £600 million of savings since 2010, and must find a further £400 million by 2021, according to the London Mayor's office.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has said officers have been "stretched" following recent terror attacks along with a rise in violent crime.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said he was "pleased" a fund had been created "to go to good use" but questioned where the police would be without the money.

He said:"The Government seem to be doing it on the cheap. Without this, we'd be relying on criminals' money to fund the police."

Among the police stations sold were:

Richmond, sold for £2.7 million in 2013

Sidcup, sold for £444,619 in 2013

Sydenham, sold for £1.5 million in 2014

Woolwich, sold for £2.2 million in 2014