Amidst Crime Wave, Extinction Rebellion Protests Have Cost Police £37 million

TOPSHOT - Extinction Rebellion climate change activists in red costume attend a mass "die in" in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London on April 22, 2019, on the eighth day of the environmental group's protest calling for political change to combat climate change. - Climate change …
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

The cost policing protests by Extinction Rebellion has cost London’s Metropolitan Police £37 million so far this year. The strain on manpower and resources has limited the police’s ability to effectively investigate other crimes, with some investigations being shut down altogether.

Extinction Rebellion’s two-week-long ‘Autumn Rising’ protest this month was at least £21 million. However, it is believed that that figure could rise by several million more.

That combined with the money spent policing the group’s actions in April, which totalled £16 million, has brought the cost for the year to £37 million so far, reports the Daily Telegraph. That is more than double the annual budget of the Violent Crime Taskforce, which is only £15 million.

London is currently grappling with a crime wave which has intensified during the tenure of incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan. In further bad news for the city, the 2019 homicide rate in London is set to eclipse that of 2018, itself a decade-high year for killings in Britain’s capital.

There have been 115 homicides in London to date this year, compared to 112 over the same period last year. The majority of 2019’s killings have been fatal stabbings.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement that policing Extinction Rebellion events had put a severe strain on London’s police force.

She said that the group’s actions had resulted in “a less good service to the rest of London. Partly because people get tired and partly because we just had to slow down certain types of inquiries, certain types of investigations would just be done more slowly, and some things won’t ever be done at all.”

Dick added that: “We are certainly at the point where I would say to Extinction Rebellion: this is placing a horrendous strain on London, and on the Met. From the Met’s point of view [this is a] big cost to us and the people who pay for us.”

The police have arrested 1,828 Extinction Rebellion members this year, only 164 have been charged with a crime.

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