This report in the Sunday Telegraph almost beggars belief. It claims that Sir Ian Blair misled the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting last Thursday, about the cost of the removal of long term peace protestor Brian Haw's banners and posters etc. from Parliament Square last Tuesday morning. On Thursday the costt was reported to be a staggering £7,200 - £3000 for overtime, £4,200 for transport and catering, for an incredible 78 Police Officers to deal with one protestor at 2:45am in the morning.
However, it now appears that the sum wasted on harassing this lone protestor is an astonsihing £27,754 !
Sir Ian told the Metropolitan Police Authority on Thursday that the cost of removing a peace camp from Parliament Square, which involved 78 officers, was £7,200.
The following day, the issue was discussed by the Met's management board. Within hours, details of the meeting were passed to a journalist, who contacted Scotland Yard for a comment. That afternoon, Sir Ian admitted that he had misled the authority, as the true cost of dismantling the anti-war protester Brian Haw's placards, including officers' pay, was £27,754
£27,754 represents about about £60 an hour for 6 hours for the 78 Police Officers involved - 50 on the raid itself, with 24 on standby elswehere, presumably with some senior officers milling around as well.
Why were they not raiding a drugs den or a human trafficking sex slave brothel instead ?
Even if you accept that the Metropolitan Police are in a cleft stick with regards to the draconian and illogical Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Section 132 Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond, this excessive, heavyhanded and wasteful Police operation must be strongly condemned. We want our money back !
Londoners should demand an explanation from the Metropolitan Police Service, via a complaint to their local member of the Metropolkitan Police Authority about this misleading report on Thursday, and on the utter waste of public money.