The monthly cost of policing outside Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire was the lowest so far recorded in January 2018
According to figures released today by North Yorkshire Police, the January 2018 total was slightly over £48,000. This was 18% down on the figure for December 2017 and was the third consecutive monthly fall.
The figures include overtime, mutual aid, equipment, subsistence and travel costs but not the cost of officers assigned to policing the site on a day-to-day basis.
The total sum to date stands at nearly £670,000. More than half of this was spent during October and November 2017.
The January 2018 figure represents 7% of the total spent so far. North Yorkshire Police said on many days most of the officers due to attend the site were redeployed to other duties.
During January, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced he was delaying a decision on whether to grant hydraulic fracturing consent for the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton.
Mr Clark said the decision would wait until Third Energy had published its 2016 accounts and an assessment of the company’s financial resilience had been completed..
North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said today:
“Costs were down again in January, which is to be expected while Third Energy’s activity has been put on hold.
“I will continue to keep a close eye on this operation and the cost to the North Yorkshire taxpayer, and will soon be making an application to government to recover as much of our costs as possible. Of course, any move to relax the current thresholds and allow full cost recovery would be most welcome.”
There have been daily protests outside the KM8 site since September 2017. At times, the North Yorkshire force has been accused of heavy-handed and disproportionate policing.
Superintendent Alisdair Dey, said today:
“We always respond proportionately to any protest activity, so when it’s peaceful and safe, we can reduce the number of officers at Kirby Misperton, and redeploy them to policing duties elsewhere in North Yorkshire.
“On many days in January, the only officers present at the site were a few Police Liaison Officers, whose role it is to engage with the protest community. They were also redeployed back to their areas when there was no protest activity.”