Revealed - the cost of policing Question Time leaders' debate in Sheffield
The cost of policing the Question Time leaders’ debate in Sheffield was around £100,000, it has emerged.
At the end of last month, four party leaders – the Tories’ Boris Johnson, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Liberal Democrats’ Jo Swinson and the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon – were grilled by members of the public at the Octagon Centre in a debate which was televised on BBC One.
Now, Mark Roberts, deputy chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, has told the Sheffield Star: “There is, of course, a cost associated with such a large scale operation particularly where it requires a number of policing specialisms from firearms officers, to mounted police and the use of police dogs.
“The policing of the event cost around £100,000, however Sheffield is a big city and will attract large events which bring revenue and prestige so we’re not complaining if we are contributing to the growth of the city.”
He added: “It’s testament to Sheffield and the university that such important events can be held here.
“Sheffield has a long history of peaceful protest and the police have a key role to play.
“Our policing operation aimed to allow people to exercise their right to peaceful protest whilst balancing this against the right of others to go about their business.
“It’s a positive when high profile, national events come to the county and a testament to the force’s capabilities, the range of which are not always apparent to the public outside of such scenarios.
“There are inevitable challenges and risks when such strongly held views are represented in one venue particularly during an election period, so an effective and flexible policing plan was required.
“From our perspective, the operation was a success as the event went ahead with no disruption and no arrests.”
Mr Johnson promised to ‘get Brexit done’ while Mr Corbyn confirmed he would remain neutral in a Brexit referendum.
Ms Swinson pledged to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 and Ms Sturgeon said voting for her party in Scotland was the best way of ‘depriving’ the Tories of a majority across the UK.