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Game of Thrones and other TV shows billed by PSNI for policing

Game of Thrones is among the filming productions billed by the PSNI for policing
Brendan Hughes

FILM crews working on hit shows including Game of Thrones have been billed more than £60,000 by the PSNI in the past year.

The bill has surged to almost four times the amount charged in previous years.

Dramas including The Fall and Line of Duty were among those charged for policing while filming in Northern Ireland.

Police also sent a bill for £14,900 to the organisers of the annual Belfast concert Tennent's Vital, the only music event asked to pay PSNI costs last year.

The only sporting event charged was the Irish Open golf tournament in Co Down at a cost of £19,300.

And a British army jobs fair was asked to pay £2,700.

Details of the private events charged by the PSNI during 2015/16 were obtained by The Irish News through a freedom of information request.

Policing charges totalled £98,100, with the largest amount billed to 16 film companies at a total of £61,200.

The figure for policing at film locations has rocketed compared to the £11,900 bill in 2012/13 and £12,800 bill in 2013/14.

A year ago The Irish News revealed that police had published a new policy detailing how they would charge private events for operations deemed over and above core policing services.

However, the policy faced criticism as it left amateur sport and charity events open to charges – but not parades.

It categorised parades alongside legal protests and constitutional events as "statutory events reflecting constitutional rights or processes" that would not be charged.

The guidelines followed criticism of police for waiving most of their bill for boxer Carl Frampton's world title fight in 2014, charging organisers just £5,000 out of £35,585.

The PSNI defended slashing its policing bill, saying the decision was in line with its policies.

It had emerged following controversy over hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer cash given to the title fight in Belfast.

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