Cost of policy during Tony’s appearance at the Iraq Inquiry? £273,000

After winning my seat at the Iraq Inquiry, I set off down to London to take my place. And was greeted with scenes of all out police vigilance.

After a kindly police officer calculated the numbers of officers on duty, I set out to find out the cost of such an operation, and was delighted to have my FOI request upheld.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

18 March 2010

Dear Ms Styles

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2010020002382

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 09/02/2010. I note you seek
access to the following information:

* I would like to know how much policing of the Iraq Inquiry has cost,
particularly how much the day Tony Blair attended cost, and how many
police officers were there. I attended on the day and spoke to an
officer who outlined that there were 150 outside alone.

EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION

To locate the information relevant to your request searches were
conducted at Finance Services.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located a number records relevant to your request.

DECISION

After considering whether any qualified exemptions were applicable to
this case, I have today decided to disclose the located information to
you in full.

The cost of policing the Inquiry on days other than when Tony Blair
gave evidence has not been specifically recorded. Any additional cost
to the MPS is minimal because the area around the QE2 Conference
Centre forms part of the normal policing of the “Government Security
Zone” put in place to protect the seat of government.

The estimated total cost of policing Tony Blair’s attendance at the
Chilcot Iraq Inquiry and associated events is **273k.

**178k of this estimate is in relation to opportunity costs. These
costs cannot be regarded as an additional cost to the MPS; rather, the
officers assigned to these duties would otherwise have been assigned
to other policing duties or operations.

**95k is additional costs in respect of overtime (**61k) and non-pay
costs (**34k). Non-pay costs include transport costs, catering costs,
air support costs, the erection of barriers and road signs for public
safety/road closures and the purchasing of specialist equipment.

657 police officer shifts and 28 police staff shifts were worked
during the operation.

The estimated costs highlighted above may change. The actual cost of
policing the event will be included in the annual cost of public order
policing report, which will be published on the MPA website in July
2010.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet which details your right
of complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
write or contact Becca Oram on telephone number 0207 230 3101 quoting
the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Becca Oram
Business Management Officer (Information)
Resources Programme Office

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