President Trump's visit to London

Meeting: 
MQT on 2018-07-19
Session date: 
July 19, 2018
Reference: 
2018/1902
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

How much did the policing of President Trump's visit to London cost; and how many dedicated ward officers were taken off their wards to police the visit?

Answer

Answer for President Trump's visit to London

Answer for President Trump's visit to London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Chairman.  I am pleased that the MPS’s policing of the visit was a success and, in coming to London, President Trump experienced an open and diverse city that has always chosen unity over division and hope over fear.  He will also no doubt have seen that Londoners hold their liberal values of freedom of speech very dear. 

 

There is, however, a significant policing cost attributed to any event of this scale.  The true cost will not be known for a few weeks while the MPS calculates the considerable overtime costs.  I am pleased that positive conversations have already been had with the Home Office about a special grant application.  It would be unacceptable if this is not approved and would be yet another financial pressure on the MPS’s already strained resources.  This is an example of the disproportionate cost of policing that falls on London as the national capital, which central Government continually refuses to sufficiently fund.  The National, International and Capital City (NICC) grant of £170 million is around half of the £340 million it costs to meet these demands.  I will continue to press Government to fully fund these pressures to ensure we have enough police officers to keep our city safe and secure.

 

With regard to the abstraction of officers, I am proud to have restored neighbourhood police in London by doubling the number of dedicated officers in every ward, and these officers are now truly dedicated to the wards they police.  Where in the past they were abstracted routinely, abstractions are now down to just 5%.  We have always been clear that some abstractions will be needed to major events such as New Year’s Eve, the Notting Hill Carnival, and extraordinary visits such as this.  The difference now is that local communities are told about abstractions and they will soon be able to be tracked online. 

 

Across the Friday and Saturday, 242 DWOs were abstracted, 139 on the Friday and 103 on the Saturday.  In both cases they came from the north and south of London.  While any abstractions are unfortunate, good planning meant this was lower than it might have been.  I want to thank all the officers and staff of the MPS for their work over a challenging few days and for everything they do to keep London safe and secure. 

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Thank you for that.  Reports suggest that Police Scotland will receive £5 million from the Home Office towards the cost of the President’s private golf trip to Scotland, not that they could stop a paraglider protester anyway.  I assume you have not received any assurances that the MPS will also be reimbursed for the full cost of policing the Trump visit, which was clearly going to be more than policing a golf course.  Given the need to abstract DWOs from the boroughs to make up the 4,000 officers I believe that were required for President Trump’s visit to the capital at the same time as other major demands like Pride, World Cup crowds and so on, it really is important that the Government starts to properly fund the NICC, is it not?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  You have articulated the reasons why we are frustrated at the failure to fund us as a National and International Capital City.  Just think about the sporting events we have.  Wimbledon has just finished.  Think about the concerts we have.  British Summer Time in Hyde Park.  Just think about the visits we have, the parades we have, the protests we have.  The Government has to recognise that funding us half of the amount that they accept that we need is not good enough.  That is why it is really important that the Government funds us fully for the NICC, that it funds us properly in relation to the cuts it made over the last few years and reverses those cuts, but also realises our population is growing, but we get each day 1.5 million additional visitors, tourists, commuters coming into our city.  Our city is not simply 8.9 million; it is that plus 1.5 million each day.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  Thank you.