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Grenfell Tower fire investigation to cost more than £38 million

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The police investigation into the Grenfell Tower disaster is expected to cost more than £38 million.

The Met has applied to the Home Office for special grant funding to cover the resources needed to investigate the circumstances of the fire.

It has been described as one of the biggest ever investigations undertaken by the force and includes examinations of possible crimes including corporate manslaughter.

Detectives received 400 reports of missing people in the aftermath of the blaze, eventually concluding that the death toll stood at 71.

Some £11.1 million was spent on overtime and other unexpected costs last year, finance director Lynda McMullen told the London Assembly.

Another £27 million is expected to be spent on all aspects of police work relating to the investigation this year.

Ms McMullen said: "We are asking if we can have a dispensation, we want to claim the full cost of our officer time for that investigation. We have approximately 200 detectives working on that over the next year. We don't think it's reasonable for us to pick up those full costs.

"We have been given those informal assurances at this stage."

Special grant funding is usually only available for unexpected costs, and only if these amount to one per cent of a force's overall annual budget, but the finance director says they are hopeful that exceptions will be made.

"The issue we're pushing at is we would like to have full cost [recovery] rather than just overtime cost next year," she said.

"The reassurance we've had is [civil servants] said they think we have a good case and they will put it to ministers.

"Given the position Manchester have been in as well, I think they do realise the arbitrary one per cent is not holding."

She added that the government is putting pressure on forces to spend reserves, but said: "If there isn't a safety valve like the special grant, it does encourage forces to hold more reserves."

Deputy Mayor of London Sophie Linden also said that a police officer and staff pay rise of more than one per cent next year will wipe out the entire council tax increase Sadiq Khan is proposing and officer numbers may fall.