Today’s Evening Standard (19/02/04) reports that the diversion of police during President Bush’s visit to London led to a 20% surge in muggings across the capital and cost Londoners 4 million pounds.
The news was condemened by Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Simon Hughes who again urged the Government to make “extra contributions” to cover the spiralling costs of guarding the capital against terrorist threats.
At the time of the visit Mayor Livingstone highlighted the extra council tax burden such visits placed on
Eric Ollerenshaw, Conservative party leader on the London Assembly also raised objection to Londoners having to pay “more and more council tax each year” for police officers who “spend half their time policing events in central London rather than walking the beat in their boroughs.”
The paper reports that a total of 11,000 officers were removed form their local boroughs and deployed for the operation.
full story: Evening Standard