Insulate Britain cost taxpayers 4.3MILLION to police – the price of insulating 3,500 homes

Insulate Britain march through London after activists jailed

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According to an investigation, policing the protests led by the eco campaigners from the group had cost taxpayers at least £4.3 million. The hefty bill was disclosed by police forces in response to Freedom of Information requests by the PA news agency.

A series of protests by Insulate Britain involving traffic obstruction began on 13 September, and the group carried out a number of demonstrations between September and November, often causing long traffic jams.

Protestors blockaded the M25 on numerous occasions, and also targeted other major motorways across the UK.

They also targeted roads in Manchester, London, Birmingham and the Port of Dover.

Eco protestors from the group also often glued their hands to the road or to one another to make it harder for their protest to be halted.

According to PA’s investigation, the Metropolitan Police said it spent £4 million to deal with the climate group’s stunts between September 13 and November 20.

6,651 officers and staff from the Met Police were involved in stopping the efforts, which cost £3.1 million.

While a further £600,000 was spent on deploying vehicles, and the investigation also found the overtime cost was £300,000.

The investigation also identified that four other police forces across the country provided figures totalling more than £300,000.

This data only included overtime bills, meaning the actual cost of policing protests in their areas was significantly higher.

Hertfordshire Constabulary detailed a cost of £185,000, while Surrey Police marked their total at £110,000.

City of London Police’s figure stood at £44,000 and Greater Manchester Police’s total was £10,000.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “appalled” by the cost to taxpayers.

He also called the group’s actions “selfish”, and claimed their demonstrations not only caused disruptions to motorists but also diverted emergency services away from other work.

Mr Shapps told PA: “I am appalled at the amount of time and public money that’s been spent policing the selfish actions of Insulate Britain.

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“Not only did their guerrilla tactics wreak havoc on our roads and inflict misery to thousands of motorists, but they diverted our emergency services away from vital work, costing the UK taxpayer millions in the process.”

While Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, described the cost of policing the protests as “staggering”.

He said: “Unfortunately we have to police what’s put in front of us.

“It’s disgusting that we’re having to spend that sort of money on these protests.”

During the course of the group’s protests, police officers made hundreds of arrests, however, many of these suspects often continued to protest just hours after being released from custody.

National Highways applied to the High Court for injunctions to ban protests on motorways and major A roads in England.

It cost just under £220,000 to obtain the first three injunctions, and so far nine Insulate Britain protestors have been jailed for breaching the injunctions, with prison sentences ranging from two to six months.

The protesters staged the demonstrations to demand the Government to insulate all social housing in the UK by 2025 and retrofit all homes with insulation by 2030.

They hope that this will cut carbon emissions.

Insulate Britain spokeswoman Tracey Mallaghan said the group would “much rather money was being spent on insulating homes and helping get people out of fuel poverty”.

However, she believes their actions have made home insulation “something people are talking about”.

She claims that when the group went to Parliament as Insulate Britain, “that just didn’t get the same amount of (media) coverage.”

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