Protests carried out by Extinction Rebellion activists have cost the Metropolitan Police at least £37m and caused other investigations to be halted.
Commissioner Cressida Dick today said that the recent two-week demonstrations had cost £21m, with this figure expected to rise by a further several million.
This comes on top of the £16m bill racked up during previous Extinction Rebellion protests in April.
The surge in expenses means the protests have now cost the Met more than twice the £15m annual budget of its violent crime taskforce, which is charged with tackling knife crime in London.
Dick told reporters the protests had put an “horrendous strain” on the force, adding that some of its other investigations had been slowed down or even ditched as a result.
Roughly 8,000 Met Police officers were deployed during the demonstrations this month, while 21,000 were asked to work 12-hour shifts.
Scotland Yard was forced to fork out £3.5m for overtime and £6m for officers drafted in from other police forces, with almost £12m in staffing costs.
Almost 2,000 people were arrested and 164 were charged after activists wreaked havoc in the capital, blocking roads and gluing themselves to buildings in Westminster and the City.
The group then garnered widespread condemnation after two protesters jumped on top of a Jubilee line train at Canning Town.
Dick said the Met was in talks with the Home Office about rolling out tough new measures that would help reduce the disruption from protests, with Extinction Rebellion eyeing further action before Christmas.
Extinction Rebellion played down the impact of the protests on London policing, accusing the government of “criminal inaction on the climate and ecological emergency”.
“Perhaps this government should look at how they spend money,” said Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Rob Cooper.
Main image credit: Getty