Kent’s PCC and Home Office agree £1.2 million funds for Christmas border closure policing.
Matthew Scott, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has welcomed confirmation of extra funding from the Home Office for Kent Police towards the costs of several significant police operations in the county.
The Government has said it will reimburse Kent Police for the cost of policing the border closure before and over Christmas. Thousands of lorries were stranded in the county when France suddenly closed its border to anyone travelling from the UK on Sunday the 20th December.
The operation to manage and clear traffic, liaise with HGV drivers and help set up Covid testing sites cost Kent Police £1.2 million. The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, has been lobbying the Home Office for financial support since.
Today he said,
“I am delighted that the Government has provided this funding to Kent. I have always believed that the costs of policing national issues should be met centrally, not just by Kent council tax payers. I am pleased that Ministers have agreed to this request.”
The Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, has also awarded the force £850,000 for costs linked to policing at the Napier Barracks asylum centre in Folkestone. He said,
"Kent Police have really stepped up in the face of challenges this year - I am very grateful to each and every officer for their hard work and professionalism."
"The effots of Kent Police have helped ensure a smooth transition as the UK left the EU, on top of their everyday work of keeping the people of Kent safe."
In addition, Mr Malthouse has agreed to provide further funding to cover any additional costs incurred by Kent Police for their role in managing the implementation of the new agreements after the UK left the EU, which currently stands at almost £20 million.
France closed its borders with the UK completely on Sunday 20th December, then announced that only those with a negative Covid test could enter from the 21st. Thousands of passengers and lorries were stranded in Kent with no where to go.
The police and the Kent Resilience Forum mounted a huge operation to clear more than 14,500 HGVs, set up testing sites, provide drivers with hot meals.
At the height of the disruption Kent Police called in mutual aid from other police forces, including Hampshire, Leicestershire and West Mercia, while the majority of officers were placed on extended shifts or placed on extra shifts over the Christmas period.
About the PCC: Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are elected to make the police answerable to the communities they serve. They are responsible for commissioning services for victims of crime in their force area, setting the council tax precept, managing their force’s budget, setting their force’s priorities and holding the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the local Police and Crime Plan.
Matthew Scott was elected as the PCC for Kent in May 2016.
Office of the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner,
Kent Police, Sutton Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9BZ