The monthly cost of policing anti-fracking protests in both North Yorkshire and Lancashire fell markedly in November.
In Lancashire (see above), the cost was the second lowest monthly total since protests started in January 2017. The monthly cost stood at £63,913, down 82% on about £355,000 in October.
In North Yorkshire (see above), the total was £148,000, down 36% from the October figure of nearly £234,000.
The costs recorded by the police are made up of overtime, unsocial hours payments, equipment, subsistence and what is known as mutual aid, where one force helps out another. The figures do not include the cost of officers assigned to police the sites.
Arrests were also down last month in both Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
Outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, near Blackpool, the monthly total arrests in November was the lowest so far this year at three. One was for an alleged offence under Trades Union legislation, another for obstructing police and the third described as “other offences”.
The total for November outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site in North Yorkshire was eight, the lowest in the past three months. North Yorkshire Police does not give information on the reason for arrests.
Lancashire Police gives details of the number of charges sanctioned. In November this was also three.
Neither police force provides information on the number of cases that reach court or result in convictions.
North Yorkshire Police said the majority of officers due to attend Kirby Misperton in November were redeployed to other duties, largely because, it said, protests were safe and peaceful.
The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said:
“For a number of reasons, the costs incurred during November are lower than October, and as the operation continues I will be keeping a close eye on the total bill. As I’ve said before, North Yorkshire Police has the necessary contingencies in place to deal with events such as this in the short term, but I have already written to the Government in anticipation of costs going beyond one per cent (or £1.4m) of our total budget, after which we can apply for financial assistance.
“I am also keen that policing more widely carries on as usual, especially over the busy Christmas period. After getting out and about with officers in the Kirby Misperton area and elsewhere earlier this month, I know people are working hard to ensure this happens. I am also keen to hear about any potential impact on members of the public, so please do contact me with your views.”