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£100K a day bill for student protests

Demos will damage local policing warns Fahy

Published on December 20th 2010.

£100K a day bill for student protests

The boss of Greater Manchester Police has warned that managing recent student protests is putting pressure on frontline police services.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said the protests against a rise in tuition fees, which saw thousands of students take to the streets across Greater Manchester, have had ‘a significant impact’ on GMP resources.

"Each day of protest has cost the force and of course the public around £100,000, but most have this has been paid for in normal duty time by taking officers away from their local policing duties,” he said. “This also requires substantial levels of policing and specialist resources from a host of other agencies and organisations.

"These events have a major draw on our resources, and the ability of GMP to plan and resource these events, often at very short notice, is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of our staff.

"I want to stress however that if these types of protests are going to become more common there is an impact on local policing. To put it bluntly officers policing protests are not chasing burglars.”

Fahy said that although the majority of demonstrations had been peaceful, others were being ‘infiltrated by outsiders.’

"These are national issues affecting many people, and we fully understand the wishes of those wanting to voice their feelings. However, I want the people of Greater Manchester to be aware that there is an inevitable impact on the force and this shows again that modern policing is not purely about catching criminals."

Fahy’s surprise statement – issued to the press voluntarily – comes a week after the force was told it has to lose £134m from its budget in the next four years and may have to shed 2,000 jobs. It's not hard to conclude that the statement and the job losses must be somehow related. At a time when civil unrest is starting to grow - the summer of 2011 might be very fraught - it's clear the Chief is making a point.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

EARL OF DIDSBURYDecember 20th 2010.


GoodforthemDecember 20th 2010.

You don't have to shout Earl. The student protests are part of the democratic rights we hold dear in this country. Maybe Earl you should move to somewhere with a little more autocracy. Or maybe pay your own way into a history course and learn how Manchester has often been at the forefront of legitimate protest.

EARL OF DIDSBURYDecember 20th 2010.

I've educated myself since leaving school , i haven't expected the taxpayer to pay for it , the state should not pay for peoples higher education options and you not what that seems to be the feeling on the street, if you want to protest there should be a down payment too , seeing as these students want to protest every other week a large down payment , say 10 pounds each seems fare to me , its either the council tax payer or the protesters after all football clubs pay for their policing , it might teach them something about economics , life and taking responsibility for their actions.

KalanmycroftDecember 20th 2010.

We need protest at the moment. There's mindless austerity around from the coalition. Education must be the top of the tree for preservation of funds.

welcome to the third worldDecember 20th 2010.

that's were people also pay for their own education. Not a sign of good standards, really...

TomegranateDecember 21st 2010.

Earl, it sounds like you think that people should be charged for protesting when you don't agree with them?

EARL OF DIDSBURYDecember 21st 2010.

I'm just a realist Tomegrante i hate some of the cuts too , i do'nt want to see the Ark Royal and the harriers withdrawn and i am not too keen on border security and police no's falling , the police don't have the money and resources too keep policing end after end of protests , so i am asking them to make a contribution, the police have enough to do with crime fighting and the hugh terrorist threat at the moment , Austerty is a result of the last governments waste and mismanagement of the economy and again i must point out we are 890 billion in debt and paying 120 million a day in interest payments , so i can see why GMP are concerned about coughing up 100,000 per protest when that money could be used in the fight against crime and terror .

Simone13024December 21st 2010.

Much as these lot irritate the hell out of me, they have a right to protest just as anyone else. If those protests involve damaging property etc then they should be banned. Otherwise, it's their right and they do contribute to the local economy.

HeatherDecember 21st 2010.

@Earl of Didsbury. So you want to retain instruments of state security and control such as warships and police officers but you don't really care about the state educating it's young people. That seems like a warped morality to me and says rather a lot about you as a person!

Smyth HarperDecember 21st 2010.

Earl, North Korea has fantastic border defences, excellent armed forces and quite a large security state. It is also a place where protest is gently discouraged. Now, serious question, would you live there?

One of the central roles of the police in this country is to facilitate peaceful protest. It's one of the reasons that organised policing was set up in the first place.

Lawful, peaceful protest is one of the fundamental things that makes Britain british. The alternative to being part of a country which allows protest, even if it is expensive, is rather unpalatable.

EARL OF DIDSBURYDecember 21st 2010.

Thats right Heather the UKs defence is top of the list in a nations shopping list , from enemies like Iran to countries like Russia who are busy rearming , and border security/police too that protects us from terrorists , both home grown and from abroad. Instruments of state is a word i would attribute to communist party members and alike by the way?

Simon TDecember 22nd 2010.

Last year GMP paid £80,000 for a large hot air balloon which was supposed to provide covert intelligance by hovering over Manchester. The balloon was scrapped because the weather here is so cloudy so often the footage from the balloon was unusable. Now THAT Mr Fahy is a waste of money.

Earl of NothingDecember 22nd 2010.

I like Mancon's rant facility and the general freedom of thought the internet brings but it does occasionally allow cocks like Earl to air their views - views which the old-fashioned media wouldn't have allowed airtime because people with good judgement, sound opinions and the ability to think things through would have foudn them wanting.

Mike AmesburyDecember 22nd 2010.

The people I want to see paying for this are the Tory Government propped up by their Lib Dem Friends. As for the economy I'd prefer a concerted effort by any government to tackle tax evasion ( estimates vary from £40 billion to £120 billion).Curtail banking bonuses for the next 2 years ( estimate of £14 billion )and maintain a ring fenced stimulus package to help grow the economy.

AnonymousDecember 23rd 2010.

I dunno earl of nothing, have you ever read the MEN's messageboards? The average punter on there makes the earl of didsbury look like Harriet Harman.

EARL OF DIDSBURYDecember 23rd 2010.

How pathetic Earl of nothing , this piece is about funding of protests which comes in at 100,000 a time and needs to be looked at. just because your a lefty and dont like my views you resort to name calling ,you talk about freedom of the net well thats the freedom of free speech from who ever wants to express that opinion , the left has lost the election lost the arguments and ruined the economy and the cost of everything needs to be lookesd at to get us back on track, well done Mr Amessbury on the tax evasion point , i know Gordon Brown was looking at this issue and the coalition too , i hope we can claw some of these lost billions back too for the UK taxpayer.

TickleDecember 23rd 2010.

Assuming that if someone disagrees with you then they're a 'lefty' ? Hilarious, and handy - now we know we can safely ignore anything you say without missing anything.

Dear EditorDecember 23rd 2010.

Why don't you only allow people with decent grammar on here?

NortherngeezerDecember 23rd 2010.

Dear Editor.................My Arse!!!!

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