Lancashire Police ‘short-changed’ by Government over fracking protests28 March, 2018
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has urged Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd to reconsider a decision to reimburse Lancashire Police just a fraction of the costs of policing the ongoing fracking protests at Preston New Road.
Despite repeated requests outlining the growing costs of the policing operation, which by the end of March 2018 will have reached close to £7million, Lancashire has been handed just £1.4million back from Government, the minimum allowed under Home Office rules.
In the letter signed by Nick Hurd, it states the Commissioner’s request has been considered in the context of the Home Office’s published guidance for Special Grant funding, despite a request for a full reimbursement of the costs of the large scale policing operation. The remainder of these costs now must be met by the existing police budget.
Clive Grunshaw said: “This is a bitter blow for Lancashire and I have already written back to Nick Hurd urging him to reconsider and to Lancashire MPs to lend their support.
“The decision to frack in our county overturned that made by Lancashire County Council. The expectation on Lancashire Constabulary to cover the costs of a decision borne in Whitehall is not a fair deal.
“This is a resource demand which is not likely to leave Lancashire any time soon. Protests are still ongoing and are expected to escalate as we enter spring and summer and officers on the ground continue to do a very difficult job under intense pressure and scrutiny.
“This is also not just an issue for Blackpool and the Fylde; officers from across Lancashire continue to undertake shifts at the site, and this is not how the public of Lancashire expect their police budget to be spent so I will continue to fight this.”