03:21AM, Thursday 08 December 2011
The bill for policing the English Defence League (EDL) protest that brought Maidenhead Town Centre to a stand still in June is estimated to have cost more than £40,000, the Advertiser can reveal.
The projected cost for policing the rally, which took place during the Maidenhead Carnival weekend, has been revealed following an investigation by the Information Commissioner after Thames Valley Police refused a freedom of information request by the Advertiser.
Despite acknowledging the public interest into disclosing how and where taxpayers money was being spent, the force said in July that to release such details may 'undermine the police force's capability to detect and prevent crime'.
But it later claimed the actual costs 'had not been recorded' following a request for an internal review in August, which revealed the overtime bill for policing was £10,748.98.
The latest figures follow another request from the paper for an investigation by the information watchdog.
It has revealed that whilst the actual costs were not recorded, a projection had been, which amounted to £41,670 including overtime.
Maidenhead area commander Superintendent Tim De Meyer said: "We had no legal power to stop the EDL demonstration taking place on Carnival Day. Without the many hours of planning and the extra officers, we could not have guaranteed a safe and enjoyable carnival for the people of Maidenhead."
No arrests were made in connection with the protest.