Policing for a royal visit last month cost Durham Police more than £7,000, data released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act has revealed. 

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, was in the region to visit two local companies, Power Roll in Seaham and Pragmatic in Durham in late March 2024. 

But an FOI by activist group Republic UK revealed that the visit cost police in the region £7,031.91, with six officers engaged in police preparation, and 15 involved on the day. 

Policing to keep Princess Anne and the public safe involved six officers in pre-visit planning, totally 63 hours of work at a cost of £2,225.65.

The actual visit engaged 15 officers, over a period of 141 hours, costing £4,806.26. 

This sum has been criticised by Jim Howard, a director at Republic North East. 

He said: "At the moment, even for serious crimes you can't get a policeman out, but for the royal visit, 15 officers can be spared.

"At the end of the day, the public should know - it's part of your council tax bill. People know about the £100 sovereign grant, but there are a lot of hidden costs. 

"Nationally, our estimate is between £30 million and £40 million is spent on security.

"Durham Police sent officers both to London and to Edinburgh for the recent coronation - and although some of this was charged back to the Met, officers were still out of the region for days."

But Durham Constabulary said that they have plans in place on how to balance the staffing needs of a royal visit without creating a deficit in their "core service" of public safety. 

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Mr Howard also acknowledged that getting "clarity of information" on the cost of policing royal visits is difficult, with bills hidden in 

Mr Howard, who is currently living in Wallsend, says that there are about 50 active members of the Republic UK group in the North East. 

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary responded said: "We have plans in place to ensure we have the appropriate support available to be able to assist with a visit such as this, while continuing our core service to the public, keeping communities safe."