Tuesday, 8 September 2009

*Arms fair "shames London"

Below is a statement against this obscene event from Jenny Jones, Green Party Member of the London Assembly and of the Metropolitan Police Authority. I remember when I was an Assembly Member asking the same question to the Mayor and was told "The police are there to keep you and your friends out"

As London prepares to host the DESi Arms Fair to-day, Jenny Jones has called on the organizers to pay for the cost of policing the event.

"I can't think of anything more wasteful than the London police using their precious time protecting a marketing place for guns and bombs. It is unacceptable to expect Londoners to foot the bill for an event that they don't want. I will be pressing the London Mayor at question time on Wednesday, to ask the organisers to cover the whole cost of policing the event. At a time when police have been working hard to tackle the problem of knife crime, it is appalling that they have to waste around four and half thousand police officer shifts protecting the international arms trade."

"I've been inside this event to take a look for myself and I think it is obscene. The Government should end all its subsidies for the arms industry. I hope this is the last arms fair ever held in London."

Policing the Arms Fair in 2007 took 4,475 police officer shifts and 294 police staff shifts to police the arms fair at a total cost to the MPS of £1.469m (£1.178m in opportunity costs, £153k in overtime and £138k in non-pay costs).

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