Feb 4 2010 by Laurie Stocks-Moore, Chester Chronicle
POLICE left a bill of more than £1,000 for using two officers and a few cones for a Sainsbury's advert.
When Jamie Oliver came to Chester on October 22 to film a Christmas-themed advert for the supermarket, Cheshire Constabulary provided two officers for a total of 20 hours and hired out their cones.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed programme makers were charged £1,177.84 for the service.
On August 10 last year, when Coronation Street stars Michael Le Vell and Vicky Binns AKA Kevin Webster and Molly Dobbs filmed scenes at Chester Railway Station and the Queen Hotel on City Road, they merely lent cones and billed ITV £28.75.
Scenes for a new film by renowned director Ken Loach, titled Route Irish were shot in west Cheshire on November 11 last year with three hours of one police officer's time costing £167.84 – more than £55 an hour.
When the Antiques Roadshow crew dropped in to Chester Cathedral in April 2008 sparking massive queues of people clutching family heirlooms, one officer served an eight hour shift netting £403.01 for the force from the BBC.
John Gannon, Freedom of Information Officer at Cheshire police, said various fly-on-the-wall documentaries had also been filmed at no cost.
He said: “We have had camera crews from many different production companies and news outlets accompanying officers on their normal duties on numerous occasions over the five years.
“No additional cost is involved in this as cameramen accompany officers who are attending to their normal duties and nothing is "staged".”