Police Federation leader: "Sussex taxpayer should not pay for fracking protest costs" (From The Argus)
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Police Federation leader: "Sussex taxpayer should not pay for fracking protest costs"
The chairman of Sussex Police Federation has said that “budget plans will be in tatters” unless the cost of policing the Battle of Balcombe is reimbursed.
Federation leader Paul Sellings told The Argus that Sussex taxpayers should not bear the brunt of policing the event, which he estimated to have cost at least £1 million.
He asked: “Is it fair Sussex taxpayers should foot the bill for the whole country?
“Fracking is a national issue and the protests should be paid for nationally.
“I cannot see how having to police such a big event cannot have an impact on Sussex Police’s budget plans for the year. All Sussex Police’s plans for other services will be in tatters.”
Supt Lawrence Hobbs said: “We have known this would be a long-running policing commitment and it is not possible for one force alone to meet that resourcing demand over an extended period of time.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The cost of this operation has put pressure on the police budget at a time when we are being asked to find significant savings.
“I have now spoken and written to the Policing Minister, Damian Green, to confirm that I will be applying to the Home Office for funding to meet the additional costs of this policing operation, once the final figures are known.”
A Home Office spokeswoman declined to comment.
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