Government reimburses £1.28m towards cost of policing Preston New Road fracking protests

Posted on - 29th March, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Lancashire Police, Politics, Preston News
Banners displaying objections to the fracking
Fracking protesters at Preston New Road

Government is reimbursing Lancashire Constabulary £1.28 million towards the cost of policing the Preston New Road fracking site.

Last year Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, made a Special Grant application to cover £1.5 million of costs in relation to Operation Manilla.

The claim was reviewed and officials decided to award £1.28 million on the basis that the remaining costs (£220k) are met by Lancashire Constabulary.

Clive Grunshaw said: “I am grateful for the reimbursement from the Home Office, which is thanks to the ongoing lobbying of central government from not just myself, but from cross-party support from Lancashire MPs. 

“This is positive news for Lancashire residents who should be reassured that the money is being returned and will now be used for the benefit of the wider police service in the County, especially in the current climate of uncertainty around Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

“The decision to frack in our county was borne in Whitehall after the judgement made by Lancashire County Council was overturned. The expectation on Lancashire Constabulary to cover the costs of this decision was not a fair deal, so I am pleased this has been recognised and additional costs for this operation are being met.”

Home Office rules state Police and Crime Commissioners can only claim for additional costs of a police operation – these are any costs where officers are working beyond plain time, such as overtime and mutual aid from other forces.

Operation Manilla, the policing of the Preston New Road fracking site and protests, has cost Lancashire Constabulary almost £13 million since it began in January 2017. As police forces can only apply for Special Grant funding on additional costs, £8.43 million has been applied for in grants to date with the government awarding 85 per cent of this at £7.166 million.

What do you think about the reimbursement? Let us know in the comments.

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