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£2.4m police bill for site eviction

The police operation to clear the UK's largest illegal travellers' site cost almost £2.4 million.

Essex Police confirmed the figure for the policing side of the clearance of Dale Farm, near Basildon, in October.

It had originally been estimated that policing could cost up to £10 million but the final bill is less than a quarter of that.

A report will be presented to Essex Police Authority's finance committee next week and a full breakdown of costs is expected later this month.

Basildon Council has not yet confirmed its costs for the operation, which includes paying a team of bailiffs.

It had set aside £8 million for the eviction - bringing the total forecast cost to £18 million.

Reports locally last week suggested the final cost would be £4.2 million. The council refused to confirm this but said it expected to be "under budget".

There were violent clashes as Essex Police led the operation to clear protesters from the six-acre site before council-employed bailiffs completed the clearance. The operation followed a decade-long row over unauthorised plots.

The Home Office had pledged to pay up to £4.65 million, or half of the policing cost. The Department for Communities and Local Government also contributed £1.2 million towards the eviction.

The remainder will come from policing and council budgets.


From Belfast Telegraph