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Badger cull delay could cost 'at least £80,000' as police try to recoup costs

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

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Police forces have claimed tens of thousands of pounds for planning security around badger culls which were later postponed.

Chief officers drew up plans for preventing trouble amid fears animal rights activists would clash with licensed gunmen targeting the creatures under the Government's bid to rid the countryside of bovine tuberculosis.

Ministers hoped to go ahead with a trial cull in Gloucestershire and west Somerset to assess the impact of cutting the number of badgers thought to be infecting cattle with TB.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was last month forced to delay the programme until next summer, when it emerged there were more badgers than thought.

Police forces can ask for extra Home Office cash to police events outside their normal duties.

Home Office Minister Damian Green last night revealed the cull delay could cost taxpayers at least £80,000 as force top officers try to recoup their costs.

Mr Green sad: "The police forces have made special grant applications in respect of the planning costs incurred by them before the cull was postponed.

"We have received claims from two of the four police forces that were involved in the planning process. The claims total £80,000. These claims are currently being considered by the Home Office, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Defra and a decision will be made in due course."

Mr Green revealed the figure following a written Commons question from shadow Home Office minister Diana Johnson.

The Tory minister said he expected the forces to make separate special grant pleas for planning and operational costs when the cull goes ahead next year.

He added: "Any payments made by the Home Office will be reimbursed by Defra.

"We do not yet have estimated costs for the operation that will take place in 2013."

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 22 2012, 8:54AM

    @Clued-up ....I know I am nit picking, but £5 million is still only an estimation and whilst people will probably moan about the cost after the event, or at least the anti-cullers will make sure that they moan about it, you rarely hear anybody moaning about all the other expense that policing racks up. How often do you hear people moaning about the anti-social behaviour costs???

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  • Clued-Up  |  November 21 2012, 10:22PM

    @2ladybugs Agree with you that the Police Commissioner elections were also a waste of our money. A straightforward cost comparison (£100M v £5M) isn't on, though, as the Police Commissioner elections were held in many areas of the UK while the £5M estimate for badger cull policing costs only covered two areas.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 21 2012, 7:03PM

    @Clued-up Putting a bit of perspective on that £5 million. 4 days for the PCC election.....approx cost £100 million Drink related anti-social behaviour..... approx cost per day £13.5 million or put another way £3.5 billion per year.

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  • Clued-Up  |  November 21 2012, 6:31PM

    Damian Green said that the Home Office would be recompensed for the cost of the badger slaughter scheme by DEFRA ... in other words, the TAXPAYERS are supposed to pick up the tab for a project most of them oppose! Polls taken at different times and in different areas (the UK as a whole and / or locations in the cull areas) show the percentage of the public against the badger cull varies from around 67% to 97%. It's been estimated the policing cost if badger culls went ahead in the two areas would be at least £5M. It's unethical and stupid to kill so much of our wildlife when the UK's leading scientists and animal health experts all agree the badger cull will do very little to control cattle bTB and may make it worse - it's also a dreadful waste of public money.

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  • Peterzz  |  November 20 2012, 6:22PM

    Its probably for all the specialist advisors & contracted in services, no public service can run without these, they are part of the system these days.

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  • twigcat  |  November 20 2012, 5:35PM

    What a waste of money on a load of nonsense!

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 20 2012, 10:37AM

    Well this is good, at least they won't have to spend so much money in 2013, planning things when the cull goes ahead. I actually fail to see why they had to spend £80k unless it was for pen-pushers, as police are paid a wage to do their jobs. Bureaucracy no doubt.

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  • Jennypenny  |  November 20 2012, 9:22AM


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