OVER half-a-million pounds was spent policing the Irish Open in Portrush last year - over twice as much as it cost to police the North West 200 over the past three years.
The cost to police the Irish Open was £614,605 and 245 officers were deployed, the PSNI revealed,
Indeed, the cost of paying overtime alone (£271,761) during the week of the Open was more than the total cost of policing the North West 200 over the past three years.
Asked how many people were arrested within the week the PSNI confirmed: “A total of 39 persons were arrested during the week of the Irish Open.”
Meanwhile, the PSNI revealed over a quarter-of-a-million pounds was spent policing the North West 200 over the past three years.
The total bill to the public purse was £266,913.50 between 2010 and 2012, whilst £21,533.33 was spent sending police helicopters up during the event.
A breakdown of the expenditure reveals it cost £89,866 in 2010; £92,334 in 2011; and £84,713.50 in 2012.
“These figures include the policing costs for the Public Order Operation and the Tactical Support Group. The Road Policing Unit’s overtime costs are also included,” the PSNI stated in response to a Freedom of Information request.
Road Policing Unit duty time costs were not included, however. In 2010 the total cost for deployment of the PSNI helicopter for the North West 200 was £13,133.33 and in 2012 the total cost for deployment of the PSNI helicopter was £8,400. There was no deployment in 2011.