THE cost of policing the Balcombe fracking protests has soared to £2.44 million Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, has revealed.
It comes at a time when Sussex Police are being forced to make savings and the future of some local police stations hangs in the balance.
And the cost is likely to be rising again this week as protests continue.
The figure is estimated to be the total cost for the operation up to Thursday September 12 and shows an increase on the previous week as police have stepped up resources to counteract increased direct action activity at the Cuadrilla drilling exploration site.
Arrests at the site have now topped 100. Some of those who have gone to Balcombe to protest have come from the Rye and Fairlight area.
Mutual aid costs are now £1.134m; accommodation, subsistence and vehicle costs account for £193,700 and supplies and services amount to £9,800. Ordinary police officer overtime stands at £269,649, rest day working £681,003 and staff overtime and consequential divisional overtime totals £160,495.
Normal police salaries for officers working on the operation are £479,548.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has received acknowledgement from Policing Minister Damian Green MP that her letter to the Home Office for extra funding has been received and will be given careful consideration.
Today (Friday) she will question the Chief Constable about the policing of Balcombe at her monthly performance and accountability meeting. The meeting will be webcast live at 1pm at www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/webcasting/.