Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens has announced that policing David Blaine’s laughable ‘stunt’ has cost Londoners a staggering £64,135.
So far the Met have been promised just half of this from the two television companies who broadcast the event and the company who staged it. Londoners should not be expected to pay the rest.
‘Celebrities’ and companies wishing to exploit our City for commercial purposes must meet the costs of ensuring public safety, the proper flow of traffic and the cleaning of the area post-event.
During the six weeks of coverage, Sky and Channel 4 will have raised far more than the £64,000 – in the meantime many residents of London, and Southwark especially, were without a proper Police presence.
Unless commercial ventures are prepared to meet the costs of these public services upfront, perhaps they ought to be compelled to share the proceeds of their commercial exploits? How many more Police could be funded through a share of the probable DVD, book, video and advertising receipts?