Trump’s four-day UK visit cost police forces more than £14m, figures show

Thousands of officers were drafted in from every force in the country to help with the trip

Monday 04 February 2019 01:00
Trump UK visit: Theresa May welcomes Donald Trump for Chequers meeting

Donald Trump’s four-day visit to the UK last July cost more than £14.2m in policing costs, new figures have found.

Thousands of officers were drafted in from every force in the country to police the trip as the US president flew in to swathes of protests as he met the Queen, was hosted by Theresa May and played golf in Scotland.

The cost of policing the trip was in excess of £14,258,966, according to figures released under Freedom of Information laws.

The Home Office reimbursed £7.9m to cover the additional costs to the three forces in England that “hosted” Mr Trump – the Metropolitan Police, Thames Valley Police (TVP) and Essex Police, while the Treasury refunded Police Scotland.

Before Air Force One touched down on 12 July, the combined police and security bill had been estimated to be £10m but as the Foreign Office costs have not yet disclosed, the total price of the visit is likely to be higher.

The biggest bill came from TVP, which spent more than £6m policing Mr Trump’s visit to Ms May’s country residence Chequers and Windsor Castle.

Also in their area is Blenheim Palace – where the prime minister hosted a black-tie dinner for Mr Trump and his wife Melania.

The Met said its spending came in at just under £3m - in part due to tens of thousands coming out to protest against Mr Trump and Essex Police, which oversaw the policing of Stansted Airport where Air Force One touched down, spent more than £1.86m.

Mr Trump’s trip to Scotland – during which he played golf at his Turnberry resort in Ayrshire on both days – cost £3.2m.

Police Scotland’s sum fell short of its advance estimate of £5m because the president did not visit his Aberdeenshire estate as budgeted for.

“The revised total reflects the fact that his visit was confined to Turnberry,” said Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams. The bill would be picked up by the UK Treasury, he added.

Most of the forces hosting the trip made payments to other forces to reimburse them for providing officers to the effort.

The leading forces then billed the Home Office for costs outside their normal operations, such as enlisting external officers and accommodating them, as well as overtime payments.

Deploying more than 1,000 officers, the British Transport Police (BTP) also spent more than £200,350 during the visit.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “As well as costing Britain millions of pounds, this visit also saw our over-stretched officers forced away from their usual duties.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We received applications from three forces for special grant totalling £7.9m in relation to their additional costs arising from the US president’s visit.

“These claims have been paid in full.”

The total sum falls short of the £18m estimate announced by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), because its figure relied on predictions given by forces before the visit ended.

The figures were released by the hosting forces, as well as BTP, after their final costs had been tallied.

Additional reporting from agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in