Justice Secretary writes to Home Secretary.
Justice Secretary Designate Humza Yousaf has written to the Home Secretary requesting the UK Government reimburse the costs associated with the policing of any US presidential visit to Scotland.
Police Scotland have indicated that costs in the region of £5 million are likely to be incurred.
Mr Yousaf said there was clear precedent for the UK Government to provide additional funding to police forces involved in major events, and that it would be “completely unacceptable” for all costs relating to any such visit to be deemed solely a matter for the Scottish Government.
Full text of the letter:
I write in relation to the anticipated US presidential visit to the United Kingdom.
Whilst I acknowledge that the final details for any potential visit to Scotland are yet to be confirmed, you will be aware that extensive operational planning is now underway given the imminent timing. At yesterday’s meeting of the Scottish Police Authority, senior Police Scotland officers outlined the resource implications of such a visit, indicating that costs in the region of £5 million are likely to be incurred.
I am clear that any such costs should fall to the UK Government as the host of the visit. I am aware that the UK Government regularly considers requests for additional funding from police forces for major events and, given the nature of this particular visit, I would expect that facility to be extended to Police Scotland on this occasion. At the time of the G8 summit in 2005, the UK Government made a contribution of £20m to the policing costs incurred in Scotland, so there is a clear precedent for payment to be made.
I was therefore surprised and disappointed to note the Home Office’s comment on this matter that “Policing in Scotland is a devolved matter, so anything about costs or funding for the police is a matter for the Scottish Government, not the UK Government”. This is completely unacceptable.
I would welcome confirmation from you that the UK Government will reimburse the costs associated with the policing of this event. I have asked that Police Scotland continue to assess the potential costs to assist you in this regard.
I look forward to receiving confirmation that you will agree to this request.
A copy of this letter has been sent to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Scotland.
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