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