What Impact will Trump’s visit have on the nation’s purse strings?
President Donald Trump’s divisive visit to the UK, which began on Thursday the 12th of July, is estimated to exceed £10 million.
The policing costs alone for Trump’s visit could potentially exceed £10 million. The visit will be the biggest police operation since the UK riots in 2011 and has the potential to be the most expensive, visit to the UK by a head of state, in British history.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told Nick Ferrari on LBC that, “We’ll put a lot of officers out there and keep them safe and make sure everything goes well. If there is a few thousand officers, it’s likely to be quite a bit of money.”
Police from most forces have been drafted in for the US president’s arrival, as campaigners prepared to protest his visit in their thousands.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead, from the National Police Coordination Centre, said: “Police forces are working together on a significant, multi-faceted security operation supporting the presidential visit to the UK.
“Nearly all police forces in England and Wales are providing officers and resources to assist with the operations in areas hosting the visit.”
It is understood that the call for forces across England and Wales to send officers to the capital for Trump’s visit saw around 4,000 officers mobilised, to support their colleagues.
One Chief Constable told The Guardian, that “These are eye-watering numbers. It’s a bit rich for the government to demand this when all they’ve done is cut out numbers since 2010.” The government decreased police funding by 18% when Theresa May, then home secretary agreed to a Treasury demand to cut police budgets, in 2010. Subsequently this has led to the number of police officers, in England and Wales, falling by 21,500 from 2010 to 2016.
The protests are expected to exceed that of the Women’s March and protests over Trump’s travel ban, which saw more than 100,000 demonstrators take to the streets of London. Trump mainly avoided the capital during his visit, where the bulk of protests took place, instead visiting Blenheim Palace, Chequers and Windsor Castle, where he meet with The Queen, on Thursday and Friday. Before travelling to Scotland where he visited Turnberry golf course, one of his two golf courses in Scotland.
Police Scotland have said the visit north of the border will cost £5 million and require more than 5,000 officers, which the UK Government has agreed to cover the costs of.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said: “I can confirm that the Treasury would provide ring-fenced funding of up to £5 million to cover the costs incurred by Police Scotland should a visit by the President be confirmed.”
According to the Government website previous state visits, show that the Foreign Office spent at least £1.26 million, since April 2014. Police chiefs have cautioned that the huge police operation will have consequences after Trump’s visit ends, as officers take rest days for Trump related overtime.