The cost of policing anti-fracking protests at a test drilling site in West Sussex has reached £750,000, the police say.
Sussex Police said policing the protest has cost almost £750,000 since it began last month and reinforcements from 10 other forces were expected.
Up to one thousand activists joined the six-day ˜Reclaim the Power Camp™ on the outskirts of the village of Balcombe. The growing numbers and duration of the demonstration has led the local police department to ask for help from the British government.
“While Sussex Police continues to facilitate peaceful protest at the site in an appropriate and proportionate manner, the recent involvement of national groups suggests the demonstrations will continue long term,” said Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.
“This is leading to increased demand on police resources and is placing pressure on the police budget at a time when we are being asked to find significant savings.”
The protests started when energy firm Cuadrilla geared up to drill for oil at the site using a fracking technique.
Campaigners fear the test drilling could cause serious risks of earthquake and water pollution.
Earlier in July, sixteen anti-fracking activists, including two teenagers, were arrested by the British police as they attempted to block the delivery of machinery by Cuadrilla to Balcombe drilling site.
The arrests were reported after the campaigners blocked a truck from entering the site by using a human chain and tree trunks.