Policing for the recent English Defence League march and counter-protest in Tower Hamlets cost the Metropolitan Police £1.9 million.
Over 3,000 officers attended the march on September 7, which saw 600 EDL supporters walk from Tower Bridge to Aldgate East Station. They were met by a Unite Against Fascism counter-demonstration of 4,000 in Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel.
The march cost the Metropolitan Police £700,000 in overtime wages for officers and a further £1.2 million was incurred by diverting resources away from other areas, a Freedom of Information request revealed.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “The substantial cost of policing the EDL March which took place in September is further evidence to support my belief that they should not be allowed to take place.”
He added: “A large amount of taxpayers’ money is then required to ensure the safety of residents and prevent the violence, disorder and destruction of property they typically cause.”
Officers successfully prevented a clash between EDL members and anti-fascist protesters when a splinter group from the counter-demonstration broke police ranks.
300 people were arrested for breaking police conditions of the march, the majority of whom were taking part in the counter-demonstration. Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson was among those detained.