Lancashire

Fracking to cost Lancashire police '£450,000 a month'

Police at Preston New Road
Image caption The force said "activity at the site is increasing and so are the number of officers there"

Policing the fracking operation in Lancashire will cost the force an additional £450,000 a month while it continues, say police.

Protests have been held at the Little Plumpton site since shale gas extraction was approved in 2016.

More officers are needed as activity increases, costing an extra £200k this financial year, said a spokesman.

Last month, the Home Office said the force would "continue to have" resources "to keep communities safe".

Planning permission for energy firm Cuadrilla to carry out fracking at the Preston New Road site was initially declined by Lancashire County Council, but that decision was overturned by Communities Minister Sajid Javid in October.

Protests have been held regularly at the site since initial works began in January.

Image caption Protests have been held regularly at the site since initial works began in January

Energy firm Cuadrilla has said drilling would start in the spring.

It would mean that, for the first time, UK shale rock will be drilled horizontally, which is expected to yield more gas. However, the process has prompted environmental concerns.

A force spokesman said the additional £450,000 a month policing cost would be kept under review and published.

"We also estimate we will have spent up to £200k additional costs in the current financial year.

"The increase is because activity at the site is increasing and so are the number of officers there."

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Media captionHow fracking will take place in Lancashire

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