At least 35 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales have cancelled leave for civilian staff and officers. Across the country, NHS trusts and ambulance services are discussing whether to suspend leave for the four-day public holiday starting on 31 December, 1999. In all, an estimated 750,000 people will be working during the century's biggest party.
The police bill for overtime is expected to be around£58m and the Association of Chief Police Officers says the move to cancel leave on such a scale is unprecedented. Constables and sergeants will be paid double time and Scotland Yard estimates new year's eve will soak up 25% of its budget for the year.