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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 16:49 GMT
Bush state visit cost over 4.1m
Protesters and police
Anti-war protesters at Buckingham Palace during the Bush visit
US President George Bush's state visit to London cost police more than 4.1m, the Metropolitan police Commissioner Sir John Stevens has said.

The news has prompted renewed calls for the whole country to cover the cost of state visits, not just Londoners.

During Mr Bush's visit police leave was cancelled and the 5,000 officers' salaries cost about 2.5m.

Overtime, transport and catering cost more than 1.6m.

Sir John told a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority that during the president's three-day visit, from 19 to 21 November, incidents of street crime in inner London boroughs rose from 30 to 180.

Anti-war demonstrations

The president's activities focused on central London with Mr Bush and his wife staying at Buckingham Palace.

Heavily policed protests by tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators climaxed in Trafalgar Square on the second day of the presidents visit.

Police services are paid for locally via a precept added to council tax.

Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, Simon Hughes, said funding state visits was the responsibility of the whole country.

He said: "It is unreasonable to ask the Met Police to spend such huge amounts of their budget for one man, when it left the other seven million citizens in the capital with fewer officers and a higher cost."




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