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Russian spy poisoning case costs police £7.5m

Recovery: Yulia and Sergei Skripal

THE police investigation and clean-up after the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter has cost £7.5million, it has been revealed.

The three-month inquiry involved 40 forces and more than 140 officers after Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious from the effects of the nerve agent novichok in Salisbury in March.

Angus Macpherson, the police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said he would be asking the Home Office to cover all costs.

Areas of the city were sealed off before a huge clean-up operation. Private security guards will replace police in some areas so they can return to duty.

Mr Macpherson said the poisoning was an ‘un-precedented incident for our force’ and the government had agreed to an initial special grant of £1.6million. ‘At this stage we are estimating that the total cost of Wiltshire Police’s response to be £7.5million,’ he said.

He praised officers, staff, volunteers, and partner agencies for their work, while residents and businesses should be ‘applauded for their attitude’.

About £250,000 has been given to businesses near the affected sites after some saw revenues fall by 80 per cent.

Pets in the Skripals home were left to die for fear of spreading the poison further. Det Sgt Nick Bailey is ‘recovering well’ after coming into contact with the poison.

The Skripals have also been discharged after being treated at Salisbury district hospital. Britain blames Russia for the attack, but Moscow has denied any involvement.