South East Wales

Policing Champions League final in Cardiff cost £5.7m

Police and football fans in Cardiff ahead of the Champions League final Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said he hoped officers looked back on their work with pride

It cost £5.7m to police the Champions League final in Cardiff in June, new figures have revealed.

More than half was met with grants from the Home Office, Welsh Government and Football Association of Wales (FAW).

South Wales Police deployed 1,556 officers from 30 May - 4 June and spent £2.1m of its £262.7m budget.

Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said fans and players got "a true Welsh welcome and in return they embraced the hospitality of our capital city".

More than 300,000 fans descended on Cardiff to see Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the world's biggest club football match.

There were seven arrests directly linked to the Champions League operation - five for ticket fraud, one for drink-driving and one for breach of the peace.

A "significant" police presence was maintained in Cardiff on the Sunday after the final as the London Bridge terror attack happened the night before and the UK terror threat was at critical.

Earlier this month, South Wales Police Chief Constable Matt Jukes said the cost of policing major events in Cardiff and Swansea had gone up 50% in the past year.

He said the force needed more money to cover the increased cost.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption South Wales Police said its policing style was "friendly and approachable"

DCC Lewis said: "Our policing style here in south Wales is professional but friendly and approachable - something we are immensely proud of and something which was really embraced by the public.

"We appreciate for residents and businesses there was some necessary disruption and I would like to thank them for helping the city host the biggest sporting event in the world in 2017.

"Looking back at the sheer scale and success of the policing operation, I hope our officers and staff remember their UCL duties last year with a sense of pride."

The total cost of the police operation has just been revealed as the full calculations were not previously available.

Welsh Government gave South Wales Police a £1.95m grant, with a further £1.4m from the Home Office and £263,708 from the FAW.

As well as its own officers, South Wales Police said 2,990 officers from other forces were deployed over the key six-day period around the date of the final.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption DCC Lewis said officers "worked long hours, had their days off cancelled and yet remained positive, professional and engaging with the public"

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