Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Met 'spent £1 million' policing rallies led by Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary

Scotland Yard has spent at least £1 million policing rallies led by Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary since last year, it was claimed today.

Figures passed to the Standard show the force has spent £261,746 since January 2014 on demonstrations outside Regent’s Park Mosque.

Just one protest near its gates — where Choudary has led a number of rallies — cost £84,401 to police.

He has also led rallies outside embassies in the capital.

London Assembly member Murad Qureshi, who lives near the mosque, requested the figures from Mayor Boris Johnson, and said the cost was one reason why some demonstrations should be banned, particularly on important days of worship.

He said: “They are astonishing amounts and it highlights the cost both to the Met and local communities. I think some of these rallies should have been stopped before they went ahead. The Met should do this.

“There is no doubt the cost in policing him [Choudary] London-wide is almost certainly £1 million. I suggest next time they also pick up the bill if they want to demonstrate so eagerly.

“This is the cost of one man’s right to protest which I think the Met has interpreted to the extreme. I don’t want to get in the way of people’s democratic right to protest, but he’s abusing it.”

A breakdown of the £261,746 spent shows £156,260 was the “estimated” cost of officers being assigned to rallies rather than carrying out other duties, while £105,486 was on overtime and equipment.

On the one protest costing an estimated £84,401, on Good Friday last year, it was £38,584 and £45,817 respectively.

On Good Friday this year, Choudary led a rally outside the mosque to promote his “Stay Muslim, Don’t Vote” campaign along with two other radical preachers, Mizanur Rahman and Trevor Brooks.

The protest led to clashes with far-Right groups the English Defence League and Britain First.

Choudary said: “The police come down for the protection of the far-Right groups, it’s clearly not for our protection. If they are shouting obscenities, then you can guess what would happen without police protection.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are mindful of the passionate response that can be stirred when those with conflicting views come together in the same area to protest, or when protests are held at religious or culturally significant sites.”

He added: “Police do not have the legal power to ban a static protest.”

Why Is Anjem Choudary Allowed To Spew His Vitriolic Hate Speeches With Impunity?

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