Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Riot cops have a burning desire to spend big

Rab C.Nesbitt

The cost of policing the recent riots in Manchester and Salford, Englandshire, has been estimated at £8.7m. All together now: how-ow-ow?

Where do they get these ridiculously huge figures? If you and I, and a couple of our mates, were policing the riots, we'd probably put in for about 20 quid each.

But not the cops. It's always millions. How do they make these figures up? 'Police riot accounts: wear and tear on shields from banging on them £2.4m; special hats £1.8m; sandwiches £3.2m; counselling £4.5m; patisserie £1.5m; feet-cleaning fish £2.6m.'

It's not just the rozzers. All public expenditure is humongous and always ends in suspiciously round numbers. On balance, I don't approve of riots. But you have to admit that the rioters seemed able to balance their books much more efficiently than the police. Some of them even came away with a tidy profit...

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