Latest cost of policing protests in Kirby Misperton published
As part of her commitment to openness and transparency, Julia will publish the additional cost of policing the site in Ryedale, every month, as soon as the figures are available. These amounted to:
- £80,238 up to 31 August 2017
- £101,476 in September 2017
- £233,704 in October 2017
These figures include overtime, mutual aid, equipment, subsistence, travel-related costs etc. It does not include the cost of those officers that are assigned to policing the site on a day-to-day basis. It was anticipated that additional costs would be higher in October, as it was the first full month of the operation.
Julia said: “The costs incurred during October were considerably higher than the previous month and this is due to a number of factors, including a rise in the number of officers needed when protest activity increased and, on a number of occasions, support from other police forces in the form of mutual aid. As well as keeping people safe at the Kirby Misperton site, I am also keen that business as usual is maintained across the county, as far as possible. If mutual aid is required, then that must be the decision, although as you can see from the figures, it is costly.
“However, at the moment North Yorkshire Police has the necessary contingencies and budgets in place to deal with events such as this in the short term. However, if the costs go beyond one per cent (or £1.4m) of our total budget, I have this week received a positive response from the Policing Minister to my letter stating that I have the option to seek a partial recovery of costs. I’d like to thank the Minister for replying so promptly.”
During October, a total of 40 people were arrested in connection with protest activity, of whom 35 were charged, cautioned, or remain under investigation. In September, 26 people were arrested, of whom 24 were charged or cautioned.
Superintendent Alisdair Dey said: “As well as facilitating people’s right to assemble and protest peacefully, part of our role is to keep disruption to local residents and businesses to a minimum. We are responding proportionately to any protest activity, which means at times there is an increase in the number of police officers in Kirby Misperton as we work to keep everyone safe.
“When protests are safe and peaceful, we are able to scale down our resources at Kirby Misperton, and redeploy those officers on other duties, such as high-visibility patrols and neighbourhood policing elsewhere in North Yorkshire.”
Police have thanked residents of Kirby Misperton and nearby villages for their support, patience and understanding throughout the policing operation.
Supt Dey added: “I know that protest activity has had a significant effect on the local community, particularly in October, but I want to reassure everyone that we are doing all we can in difficult circumstances to make sure residents can go about their daily lives safely and without disruption. It’s challenging to balance that against the right of people to assemble and protest peacefully, so we’ll continue to talk to people on all sides of the issue, to help make this a safe and peaceful protest.”
The policing operation in Kirby Misperton will remain a standing item on the Public Accountability Meeting agenda until further notice, which can be watched live or following the meeting.
16 November 2017