Friday, 10 September 2010

Papal visit police operation 'a lot smaller than Notting Hill Carnival'

Speaking at a briefing by the Association of Chief Police Officers (APCO) in London, Meredydd Hughes said that while officers would look after the "safety and dignity" of the pope, they would also protect those wishing to see him and any protesters against his visit too.

"There is no intelligence to suggest any specific group will attack the pope," he said, adding that the last few attacks on the pontiff were by Catholics.
The Met's "public order supremo", Commander Bob Broadhurst (photo), added that he expected "no more than 2,000 protesters to join the demonstration", and guesses between 10 and 20 protesters would turn up at the Pope's pastoral events elsewhere. While the police were not anticipating any disorderly protests, "we may at times be protecting the protesters from the faithful if one or two people get hot under the collar".

He pointed out that other events — including a full football programme — were continuing during the visit and the police operation would be "nowhere near the scale of the Notting Hill carnival".
Let's look at that again. The police operation for the four-day papal visit is nowhere near the scale of the Notting Hill Carnival.

Nor is the cost. The total cost of the policing for the papal visit is somewhere between £1m and 1.5m. The cost of policing the Notting Hill Carnival is £6.6m.

The G20? £7.5m. Tamil ceasefire protests? £12.8m. (You get the idea.)