Met got £15m to tackle vi­o­lent crime – and spent nearly half on eco protest!

Daily Mail - - News - By Re­becca Cam­ber Chief Crime Correspond­ent

SCOT­LAND Yard had to blow the equiv­a­lent of al­most half its vi­o­lent crime bud­get to po­lice the Ex­tinc­tion Re­bel­lion protests, it emerged yes­ter­day.

It cost po­lice more than £7mil­lion for 10,000-plus of­fi­cers to re­spond to cli­mate change demon­stra­tions that brought parts of cen­tral Lon­don to a stand­still.

Met Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick said it had put a ‘huge strain’ on the force to de­ploy 1,400 of­fi­cers a day, work­ing 1216 hour shifts over a bank hol­i­day.

Street bar­ri­ers and a ‘cherry picker’ to get peo­ple out of trees in Par­lia­ment Square had also added to the cost.

The force is still cal­cu­lat­ing the fi­nal bill, which is likely to be even higher when it takes into ac­count the im­pact of tak­ing of­fi­cers away from other work.

But it al­ready adds up to al­most half the £15mil­lion that Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of Lon­don, had pro­vided to tackle street vi­o­lence, par­tic­u­larly knife crime.

More than 1,000 pro­test­ers were ar­rested over the ten-day protest when cli­mate ac­tivists blocked Water­loo Bridge and Ox­ford Cir­cus and glued them­selves to trains and build­ings. It came as ev­ery Met of­fi­cer was be­ing told that part of their job was to stem the blood­shed.

Yes­ter­day the Com­mis­sioner re­vealed that in ‘extreme cases’ counter-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cers were be­ing drafted in to help curb knife crime – and that flood­ing the streets with of­fi­cers was work­ing. ‘We know that has a big im­pact on crim­i­nal­ity,’ she added. ‘If we tar­get the money that takes us back to the drugs and guns.’

Much vi­o­lence was linked to drugs, she said. ‘There is a large de­mand, there is big money to be made and there is a lot of fights go­ing on be­tween drug gangs. Those young peo­ple have ei­ther been the vic­tim or the of­fender or both.’

Huge bill: Four of­fi­cers deal with one ac­tivist

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.