Insulate Britain protests cost police over £4 million
New figures have found that policing Insulate Britain’s protests over three months cost more than £4 million.
The figures, which were released to the PA news agency under a Freedom of Information request, show that £4m was spent between 13 September and 20 November.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “appalled” by the time and money wasted by the protesters.
Mr Shapps said: “I am appalled at the amount of time and public money that’s been spent policing the selfish actions of Insulate Britain.
“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.”
Insulate Britain wants the Government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions.
They repeatedly blocked major roads between September and November, causing massive traffic disruption by glueing themselves to the road and each other.
However, many motorists fought back by dragging protesters out of the road to allow vehicles to pass.
The Met said 6,651 officers and staff were involved, costing £3.1 million. A further £600,000 was spent on deploying vehicles, while the overtime cost was £300,000.
Hertfordshire Police spent £185,000, Surrey Police £110,000, City of London Police £44,000 and Greater Manchester Police said it had spent £10,000 policing protests.
For three months Insulate Britain regularly targeted the M25, the UK’s busiest motorway, but also blocked roads in Manchester, Birmingham, London and the Port of Dover in Kent.
National Highways applied for High Court injunctions to ban protests on motorways and major A roads in England.
Despite this, some protesters returned to the roads after being arrested and released from custody.
Ten Insulate Britain supporters have now been jailed for breaching the injunctions so far; their prison sentences range from two to six months.
The Transport Secretary is now working to include new clauses in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that creates tougher penalties for interfering with key infrastructure such as major roads.
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