Why are the police trying to hide the true cost of securing the papal visit?
The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Meredydd Hughes, who is co-ordinating the police authorities who will secure the events in the papal visit, has announced that security costs are likely to be between £1 million and £1.5 million.
But the president of the National Secular Society has dismissed this figure as “total nonsense.”
Terry Sanderson, president of the NSS said: “It is already officially recorded in committee minutes of the Metropolitan Police that the “very early” starting estimate for policing the London element alone of the pope’s visit were £1.8 million. See paragraph 95.26.
In Scotland, a tabloid newspaper had obtained a blueprint of the security arrangements there which estimated the cost for the one day Scottish visit to be £10 million. Another newspaper, on good authority, estimates £70 million.
Mr Sanderson continued: “Mr Hughes himself described the security arrangements as “an unprecedented police operation across the country” and yet he imagines it can all be achieved for £1.5million. Is he deliberately trying to pull the wool over our eyes to forestall any further controversy over the cost of this visit?”