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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Anger over raft race police bill
Mumbles Pier
This year's race will go ahead on Sunday
Organisers of a charity raft race have said they are 'deeply disappointed' at having to pay for policing the event.

The annual Mumbles race will go ahead on Sunday although South Wales Police is charging 4,000 for its services.

The event, which raised 15,000 last year, is run by Mumbles lifeboat crew, which hoped the fee would be waived.

Police said it had to charge for attending private events in line with national guidelines, but was trying to keep the costs to a minimum.

It is the latest event across Wales to incur police charges after the Association of Chief Police Officers updated its policy in April.

Every penny counts towards saving lives
John Howell

The Reggae Wales Festival in Pembrokeshire was cancelled last month after organisers said they had been asked for 16,500 by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Lifeboat crew secretary Gary Tanner said the raft race could lose money if the weather was bad on Sunday and spectators kept away.

"We are deeply disappointed," he said.

"We just hope the public turn out in greater numbers than ever so we can make up for this loss in funding."

Good cause

Money raised goes to the RNLI.

Race supporter John Howell said it was family event and there was never any trouble.

"The Mumbles lifeboats are run entirely on voluntary contributions through the RNLI charity and every penny counts towards saving lives," he said.

A spokesman for South Wales Police said the actual cost of policing Sunday's event was over 9,000, but it had reduced its bill because of the good cause.

"We have a duty to the residents of Swansea to ensure that our policing services are not adversely affected by officers being allocated duties at special events, some of which make a commercial gain," added the force.

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