“The final bill for taxpayers came to £1,029,749 – £205,950 for every day the torch spent in the region, according to information revealed by Freedom of Information requests.
“In comparison London’s Metropolitan Police Service spent less than £150,000 for every day the torch spent in the capital. The Service covers a population more than six times larger than Northern Ireland’s.
“Debra Whyte, media centre manager for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: “The additional costs were due to the Olympic Torch Relay falling over two public holidays in Northern Ireland, and covering a larger geographical area.”
“Police in Wales, however, covering an area a third larger than Northern Ireland, also spent less.”
One council appeared to save hundreds of thousands of pounds on the Olympic Torch Relay by getting Olympic organisers LOCOG to pay their costs – but for six months they have denied having any records of how that happened. Carol Miers reports on the curious case of Somerset County Council.
Hartlepool Council have defended their decision to fund part of the Olympic Torch Relay with money intended for a maritime festival.
The Hartlepool Mail spoke to the council after finding out about the spending through Help Me Investigate. They report:
“The Maritime Festival had a budget of £35,000 and officers say around 10 per cent of that, plus external sports funding, covered the £10,000 cost of hosting the Olympic Torch.
[A council spokesman said] “The bulk of the Maritime Festival budget was spent on staging the Diamond Festival, a celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which took place on the weekend of June 2/3 – two weeks prior to the arrival of the torch.
“The subsequent decision to end the Maritime Festival was part of the council’s wide-ranging strategy to deal with Government budget cuts and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the money spent on hosting the Olympic Torch.”
Bexley Council defends spending on Olympic Torch Relay (From News Shopper) – Defending the investment, a Bexley Council spokeswoman said: “The Torch Relay and evening celebration were once in a lifetime events and were a great success “Sixty per cent of the total budget, £166,000, was secured from external funds. “The remaining 40 per cent, £113,000, was met from existing bud
ThePress Association has picked up on the costs of the Olympic torch relay as it reports on the anniversary of the start of the event
Dozens of regional newspapers across the UK have published the newswire story on the “£6m cost of Olympic torch relay” – first revealed on Help Me Investigate following Freedom of Information requests by contributors including Carol Miers, Juliet Ferguson, Jess Denham and Steve Walker.
The article says that ”figures were obtained by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act.”
The Stoke Sentinel and Huddersfield Examiner have reported on Freedom of Information requests from Help Me Investigate about torch relay spending.
This is Staffordshire report on the £189,730 cost of the relay to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, while The Huddersfield Daily Examiner’s Linda Whitwam asks “Was [the £56,000 cost] worth it?” Continue reading →
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Terrorism arrests rose 60% in year building up to Olympics – The latest official statistics show that 245 people were arrested under counter-terrorism legislation in the 12 months to September 2012 – a 60% increase compared to 153 over the same period 12 months before. And in the three months immediately before the Olympics, the number of terrorism arrests nea