West Burton Power Station protest ‘comes at a cost’

Protest at West Burton Power Station  (w121029-1b)
Protest at West Burton Power Station (w121029-1b)

POLICING the on-going protest at West Burton Power Station could end up costing the taxpayer heavily - say officers.

Climate change protesters scaled the chimneys of the power station in the early hours of yesterday morning (Monday 29th October).

The No Dash for Gas campaigners say the West Burton station is one of the first in a new generation of highly polluting gas plants planned for the the UK.

But Notts Police said the cost of policing the demonstration is costing the taxpayer around £14,000 a day and could top £200,000 by next week.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent who is commanding the operation said he wants to bring a ‘successful’ and ‘swift’ conclusion to to the demonstration.

“We have no choice but to police the protest, to try and bring it to a successful and swift conclusion and to ensure that everyone’s safety at the power station is protected – including that of the protesters,” he said.

“That is already proving a drain on police resources – and if the current staffing levels are maintained day and night for the next week, that will cost in the region of £200,000 – excluding petrol, overtime payments, and other factors.”

He added: “Of course people have a legal right to protest – but they must do that lawfully. In trespassing into the power station, scaling chimneys and effectively taking up residency, the demonstrators have acted illegally.”

“I make no comment on the motivation, or cause, of those taking part in the protest. But I do wonder whether the tax payers of Notts would want scarce police resources to be occupied in policing this protest.”

Five of the protesters – all women from either Manchester or Leeds – were arrested as the group made their way into the site at around 1.20am yesterday and are being questioned at a Nottingham Police Station.

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