Balcombe policing costs £2.3m

The cost of policing the anti-fracking demonstrations in Sussex has soared to £2.3m.

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Balcombe police costs soar to £2.3m

The demonstrations lasted for several days Credit: Meridian

The cost of policing the protests at Balcombe following the No Dash for Gas camp last weekend has now risen to £2.3m. Nearly 1000 extra protesters arrived at the camp to take part in marches and a campaign of direct action around the Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site.

During that time, more than 30 people were arrested, 29 of them on Monday when a large number had to be removed from outside the entrance to the site. Since the protests began at the end of July, 80 people have been arrested.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: "It is important that taxpayers are kept updated on the ongoing costs of this policing operation."

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Police scale down fracking operation

Sussex Police have begun to reduce their presence at the protests in Balcombe after four months of demonstrations.

Hundreds of activists protested in Balcombe against the drilling site opened by energy company Cuadrilla, who have now left the area.

No Dash for Gas, who organised the camp protests, said they would continue to support the people of Balcombe and return in the future.

Protesters believe the drilling could lead to fracking, which they claim imposes risks to the environment such as earthquakes.

Many officers and staff had worked longer shifts or cancelled days off and the force had called on mutual aid from the rest of the UK.

We have known this would be a long-running policing operation and, while we are scaling down, we still expect to need a presence at the site for a number of weeks."

– Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs
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