ANGUS Macpherson has demanded the Home Office pay Wiltshire Police’s £7.5 million bill following the forces response to the nerve attack in Salisbury three months ago.

The attack was described by the Police Crime Commissioner as an unprecedented incident for the force due to its size and scale of the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia.

Special funding of over £1.6 million has already been earmarked for the police service to cover the cost of the investigation up to the end of the financial year 2017/18.

Ms Macpherson said: “At this stage we are estimating that the total cost of Wiltshire Police’s response is expected to be £7.5 million.

“I want to reassure the public that I am asking the Home Office to cover all our costs.The Government has already agreed to an initial special grant funding of £1.6 million covering our costs in the last financial year, and the Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP has recognised the ongoing costs to Wiltshire Police. I expect the additional costs incurred to be met in this financial year as well. I would like to praise our officers, staff and volunteers, as well as our partner agencies, for their commitment and I continue to be amazed at the dedication they have shown in supporting this operation.

“Also, the resilience of the community in Salisbury has been incredible and they, along with the business community, should be applauded for their attitude whilst the investigation has continued.”

He added that the rest of the cash, £5.9 million, is expected to be paid to the force at the end of the next financial year at the latest.

Assistant Chief Officer, Clive Barker has been in frequent contact with the Home Office throughout the investigation and is working to ensure the local force is reimbursed following the national and international incident.

Chief constable Kier Pritchard revealed that since the attack the force has set up a welfare cell to deal with the psychological effects of the attack, which 90 members of staff have used. PC Nick Bailey, who was poisoned after going to Mr Skripal’s home to look for evidence used the service and recently attended Wiltshire Police head offices in Devizes.

The nerve agent attack took place on March 4 and left Miss Skripal in a 20 day comma. She has since described the incident as being life changing.