THE Government has agreed to pay most of the bill for policing fracking protests in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said that the Home Office has agreed to cover 85 percent of the ‘additional costs’ of the operation- amounting to £614,000 - the maximum amount possible under the scheme.

Mrs Mulligan has been calling for over a year for central government to support the additional investment of resources that were used to police the protests over hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, in Kirby Misperton.

A detailed analysis has been taking place of North Yorkshire Police’s approach, led by the Home Office, to assess the operation and its value for money.

Commenting on the decision, Mrs Mulligan said: “It is right that the Government has agreed to pay these costs.

“The police operation had a significant and visible impact on the local community, but it has also had an impact more widely across North Yorkshire given the number of officers involved.

“Given that, my thanks go to the Gold Commander for the operation, Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver, for managing a complex and high-profile policing operation very well, a conclusion enforced by the findings of the Home Office’s study.

“The hydraulic fracturing may resume later this year and I fully expect that will bring with it the protests. I know plans are already in being put in place for this. It is a contentious issue with passionate views but the police have upheld the law fairly and in conjunction with the Human Rights Act, and I know they will do so again.

“Despite the overall success of the operation, there are always lessons to be learned and I am confident they have – from community engagement to a drive to bring further efficiencies and effectiveness.”