Staffordshire Police foot £400,000 bill after terror attacks
Police were forced to find £400,000 to pay for officer overtime and extra staffing costs in Staffordshire following this year's terror attacks.
Officers were put 12-hour shifts and guarded major landmarks such as Lichfield Cathedral after the terror threat level was raised to 'critical' in wake of attacks in Manchester and London.
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan warned the money had to come from the force's reserves – and was not covered by 'protected' counter terrorism budgets.
He said: "We moved to critical twice over the summer and the cost of that in Staffordshire – and to be able to give the visibility that we were required to do to iconic sites and cover all the things you would expect us to do and put resources in to reassure the community – was £400,000.
"That was out of our reserves.
"It is not part of our counter terrorism resource, it is not a nationally funded issue.
"Staffordshire is a force with iconic sites we had to cover – to do that meant we had to extend people's working hours. There was lots of public commentary but that was a big chunk of public money."
In a thinly veiled dig at the Government's claim of 'protecting' counter terrorism budgets, Mr Morgan said: "When I hear counter terrorism budgets have been protected, it is not the reality we have experienced here because the response we had to make did not come from the counter terrorism budget."
Armed police were deployed to the streets of the region on regular patrols following the attacks.
The terror threat level was raised to its highest level of 'critical' – meaning an attack may be imminent.
West Midlands Police previously revealed it had to find £1 million to pay for more officers to patrol the streets following the atrocities.
Mr Morgan added: "Visible policing is the great challenge. The public want to see officers on the street, and I want officers to be on the street. There is a lot of science which says that foot patrol officers do not impact on crime but that is what the public is interested in, it is what the public wants, and it is what they are entitled to see.
"I am a firm believer that you tackle counter terrorism and serious organised crime, and other issues, by effectively policing neighbourhoods and the areas you are serving because that is where you get the intelligence."