Taxpayers likely to foot half the bill for secret meeting

Steve Watson
June 13, 2013

The security operation surrounding the secret Bilderberg meeting in Watford, England, last week cost a whopping £1 million according to police, and British taxpayers are set to foot at least half the bill.

The Watford Observer reports that Hertfordshire Constabulary revealed the figures today, noting that the Bilderberg Group made a “donation” of £500,000 following media scrutiny and complaints from activists and local residents.

Police said that the £1 million figure was an estimate, and that they were still totalling up the actual costs of the exercise to facilitate the elite delegates, including the Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and shadow chancellor Ed Balls, as well as catering for the protesters at the Fringe festival event.

Officers from 12 forces had to be drafted in to enforce road closures under anti-terror laws, help erect a huge ring of steel perimeter, and oversee the enforcement of a no-fly zone.

Police are still negotiating with the Home Office over how much they will have to pay toward the costs of the meeting, having applied for an emergency grant solely for the purposes of hosting the Bilderberg Group in Hertfordshire.

The Mayor of Watford issued a statement this week, revealing that she was forced to sign the official secrets act before she could be briefed on any of the events surrounding the Bilderberg meeting, hammering home the importance of the gathering.

During a town hall meeting prior to the beginning of the conference, police told reporters and local residents that they were sure the event would be “cost neutral” for Hertfordshire taxpayers. Now, however, it seems that those assurances were completely inaccurate.

Before the confab started, police had also underestimated the amount of protesters that would attend, believing that only around 100 would show up.

When 2000 people had entered the designated protest area inside the grounds of The Grove Hotel on Saturday, police instigated a “one in, one out” policy and began turning away hundreds more people.

Furthermore, local residents were forced to endure protesters parking on and occupying their roads, as thousands descended on the area. When all was said and done, parking spaces were virtually non-existant, and police actively dissuaded protesters from leaving their vehicles anywhere near the scene.

Despite the huge turnout, only two arrests were made during the protests, with all events proceeding peacefully.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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