Mike has spoken out against protest groups that have failed to plan their marches properly. When a protest group chooses not to liaise with police, local forces have to plan for a worst case scenario which inevitably means a greater cost to the taxpayer.
A series of protests in Brighton & Hove over the Jubilee weekend by ‘Smash EDO’ and other professional protest organisations are estimated to have cost the taxpayers of Brighton & Hove £800,000. The groups deliberately picked the Jubilee weekend to maximise their impact, knowing that it would also maximise the costs that taxpayers would have to pick up. Sussex Police had to provide enough police officers to ensure that they could maintain public order but didn’t know quite what to expect, especially as ‘Smash EDO’ has a history of violence and intimidation.
Commenting, Mike said: “It’s somewhat ironic that groups protesting about cuts have made such an effort to dent the budget of Sussex Police by forcing them to provide more officers than are actually necessary. Obviously I completely support the right to protest, but I understand why people will be angry at this deliberate ploy to be elusive which ended up with the police not knowing what to prepare for.”