August 15, 2011

£172,000 EDL police bill ‘could have kept two libraries open’

A DEMONSTRATION in Dewsbury by the right-wing English Defence League left taxpayers with a police bill of £4,300 per minute, it was revealed today.

Concerns have been raised about the strain on the public purse after it was revealed the 40-minute rally in June cost £172,000 to police.

Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan said: “Forty minutes - that’s £4,300 pounds for policing. Every citizen has the right to be heard but the EDL need to be aware that their demonstrations are taking money from essential front line services at a time when the country is struggling. With £172,000 we could have kept two libraries open for a year.”

About 600 supporters of the EDL gathered outside the town’s railway station. 700 officers were drafted in to keep the peace. There were six arrests. West Yorkshire Police said the operation cost £50,000 pounds to plan and £100,000 in overtime payments and extra officers. British Transport Police, which was also involved, said its costs were £22,835 pounds.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The police operation was necessary to ensure the safety of the demonstrators and also to reassure the local communities and traders who were affected by their presence. The policing operation successfully met its objective.”

An EDL spokesman said: “The EDL have the right to demonstrate and therefore will use that right.”

Yorkshire Post

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