FOI request reveals police security cost for Hamza street pulpit

An excellent example of using FOI in today’s Times:

Police spent £900,000 to give Hamza street pulpit
Times, By Sean O’Neill

Almost £900,000 has been spent by police to steward illegal street meetings by the radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and his followers.

The Metropolitan Police has disclosed, after a successful Freedom of Information Act request by The Times, that the cost of supervising weekly gatherings outside Finsbury Park Mosque, North London, was £874,387. The figure is far in excess of previous estimates for the 22-month police operation.

Before the introduction of the new legislation on January 1, Scotland Yard had refused to discuss the cost of policing Hamza’s Friday prayer meetings. The Freedom of Information Act, which gives access to a range of information held by public bodies, forced disclosure of the figures.

Read the full article here.

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