The Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex, Katy Bourne, announced last week that the Home Office would pay for the policing of any future shale gas protests in Sussex. It also agreed to contribute to the cost of last summer’s demonstrations at Balcombe.
In January, Mrs Bourne applied to the Home Office for funding to “recover the balance of cost incurred by the policing operation”. The total cost of policing at Balcombe was £3.985 million.
Mrs Bourne said the application had been successful. A press release from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The Home Office has agreed to pay Sussex Police £905,000 in accordance with Home Office Special Grant rules, In addition Mrs Bourne has negotiated an agreement with the policing minister that if Sussex Police is faced with further shale gas protests in the future then all policing costs will be refunded in full.”
Mrs Bourne said: “This is a great result given it is the first time that an application to cover these types of costs has been made under Home Office Special Grant rules.
“Furthermore, I am delighted that the Home Office has agreed that any future shale gas protests similar to Balcombe will be refunded in full.
“This unforeseen cost of protest policing last summer put a huge amount of pressure on the police budget at a time when considerable savings are being made. Any funding that can be recovered is a real bonus to Sussex Tax Payers.”