Wiltshire Publications

Police bill for Novichok incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury tops £10million

Wiltshire Police operational costs for two Novichok incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury are expected to reach more than £10million.

Police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, has said that he fully expects all costs associated with the operation to be met centrally by the Government.

Wiltshire Police had to request mutual aid support from police forces across the country in order to meet the extraordinary demand placed on the force after two major incidents were declared in the space of four months.

Mutual aid is a resource that is used when the scale of an incident creates additional pressures and need for support. This has helped the Force to minimise impact on community policing at a time when they were responding to a global incident.

Even with this additional support, during the second incident Wiltshire Police had to cancel officer rest days and put annual leave requests on hold to meet an extraordinary level of demand which saw private security brought in to guard cordons.

It is projected that more than £7million of the total bill will cover the cost of the extra police officers which came from 40 other forces, with more than £1.3million being spent on overtime for Wiltshire Police officers and staff.

It also covers a number of police vehicles which had to be destroyed as a precaution at an estimated cost of £347,000.

Police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson said, “For our Force to find itself at the centre of two major incidents in such a short space of time is somewhat unimaginable and we have endured significant costs because of the scale of the investigation.

“I am grateful that the Government has already pledged £4.1million towards the costs incurred by Wiltshire Police during the investigation into the attack on Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

“I am in frequent contact with them, and those conversations will remain an absolute priority for me, to ensure that policing in Wiltshire and Swindon is not affected by the financial implications of these high profile and complex major incidents.

“I fully expect all costs associated with these unparalleled incidents to be met by the government.”

Chief constable Kier Pritchard said, “I am grateful to the commissioner for his ongoing support to my officers, staff and volunteers and those from other forces who have come forward to help us during these two major incidents.

“Our mutual aid arrangements mean that other frontline policing duties have remained unaffected in Wiltshire, despite us dealing with two internationally significant incidents in just four months.

“I am assured that the commissioner will continue his dialogue with the Government to ensure that Wiltshire Police and the communities we serve are unaffected by these growing costs.”