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Government reimburses Lancashire Police for policing fracking protests

27 March, 2020

Government ministers have listened to calls from Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, for costs associated with the policing of the Preston New Road fracking site to be reimbursed. The policing minister, Kit Malthouse MP, has today agreed to reimburse Lancashire Constabulary £1.28 million.

Last year the Commissioner made a Special Grant application to cover £1.5 million of costs in relation to Operation Manilla, the policing of fracking protests in Lancashire. The claim was reviewed against the Home Office’s Special Grant Framework and officials have decided that the application meets the criteria for reimbursement. £1.28 million is being awarded on the basis that the remaining costs (£220k) are met by Lancashire Constabulary.

Commenting, 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% of this at £7.166 million.

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