Police inexplicably block a road leading away from the G8 summit
The article says: "The question of whether the Government would meet the cost of the operation was never answered, although the force had to mount a stringent security operation to safeguard visitors from a possible terrorist threat and from anti-poverty and anti-war protesters who caused chaos at previous G8 meetings".
Already South Yorkshire Police (SYP) have received a bill of £373,000 from other Police forces and that looks likely to rise to £400,000. Add to this the cost of South Yorkshire's Police worked out so far and the figure is close to £1.6m.
The article goes on to say: "The Home Office has a Special Grants budget which has cash to meet the cost of such one-off events, but South Yorkshire Police Authority has been warned the budget is under pressure this year. That means the force may be asked to pay part of the bill from its own reserves, the money kept aside from day-to-day spending to meet emergency expenditure."
The maximum number of protestors at any one time in Sheffield was probably around 400 and ten people were arrested. Some, if not all, of these were for extremely trivial matters. On one occassion 6 police officers were used to arrest man on his way home for spitting at them. The police presence was massive. There were police on horses, motorbikes, video vans, cars and a helicopter and most of all on foot.
A similar money wasting exercise was launched by by Derbyshire's police force in March when 2000 officers were used to police less than 100 protestors at another G8 meeting. On that occasion a Scotsman article had said "Police said fewer than 500 activists were expected to attend." So even if they'd been right that would have been 4 police for each protestor.
The Home Office won't say how much of the £1.6m they expect SYP to pay because they have yet to receive a reciept for the costs.
If, as the article suggests, South Yorkshire Police has to "dip into it's emergency reserves" to pay the bill it could be good news for protests in South Yorkshire this year. But it will also be good news for murderers, rapists, muggers too. Let's hope South Yorkshire Police learn something about the allocation of resouces from all this.
Full Yorkshire Post article of 1st December