THE cost of enforcing the law in Cheshire is considerable.
The bill for doctors called to people in Cheshire police cells has soared to £1.2m a year.
Assistant Chief Constable David Baines explained: “A few years ago, if someone in the cells complained they had a headache, the sergeant would give them a couple of aspirins.
“Now we have to call a doctor at a cost of £100 a visit to come and give them the aspirins.”
Arrested suspects and their solicitors are also using the force’s fear of expensive litigation. More than one in three people arrested insist on calling doctors, disrupting interviews, the assistant chief constable explained.
The Cheshire police force also faced massive increase in the cost of providing interpreters for suspects, witnesses and victims.
Mr Baines said: “Three years ago, we had about 200 incidents where we needed interpreters. After two- thirds of this year, this increased to 1,200 times, costing £120,000.”
Terrorism may seem a long way from Cheshire but earlier this year suspects in the Glasgow Airport and London bombings were arrested on the M6 in the county and doctors formerly working in Halton were implicated.
In the heightened national terrorism alert which followed those incidents, Cheshire police had to increase security at sensitive sites at places like railway stations, producing an overtime bill of £250,000 for one weekend.
Witness protection bills also increased to £900,000 as Cheshire police tackle serious crime.
In one high profile case, it cost £450,000 for six full- time police officers and new addresses to ensure the safety of witnesses in an attempted murder trial of a man who had been interviewed by other police forces over the most violent crimes but no-one was prepared to give evidence.