The government has been asked to pay £38 million towards the Metropolitan Police’s Grenfell Tower investigation.
Scotland Yard says the demands of the criminal probe into the fire, which killed 71 people in June last year, could leave them facing unreasonable costs.
The force has made a request to the Home Office to fully fund the £27 million cost of the inquiry in the coming financial year, its finance chief said on Thursday (January 4).
A further £11.1 million is also being sought to cover extra hours put in by investigators so far.
Around 200 officers from the Met continue to work on the criminal investigation.
Under current rules, a police force can apply for a special grant to help foot the bill of an investigation once it exceeds 1% of its budget.
But given how many officers Scotland Yard faces committing to the Grenfell Tower investigation for a second year, it has asked the Home Office to go further.
The London Assembly’s budget and performance committee was told the department had provided assurances their request was being given “serious consideration”.
Lynda McMullan, the Met’s director of finance, told the hearing: “The impact of Grenfell, that has had a very significant impact and we’ve put in a special grant claim for the current year for £11.1 million, in terms of the additionality of cost to do with the incident for the current financial year.
“We have also indicated that we would like - we estimate that we will be spending - close to £27 million on that particular investigation.
“We are asking whether or not we can have dispensation, not just simply the 1% referenced, but we also want to claim the full cost of our officer time for that investigation, not just the additionality, the overtime, in effect.”
She added: “We don’t think it would be reasonable for us to pick up the full costs, as we know that investigation will go on for some time.”
Home Office officials have told the force that the matter will be put on the table to ministers, who will decide whether to wave through the additional funding, the committee heard.
The size of the Grenfell Tower probe has previously been described as “unprecedented”, involving many months of evidence removal from the west London block, as well as the seizure of millions of documents.
Offences including misconduct in public office, manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and breaches of fire safety regulations are being examined by detectives.
Suspects are not expected to be interviewed until later this year in relation to the disaster, while Scotland Yard expects to hand the tower - still a crime scene - back to Kensington and Chelsea Council in the spring .
Ms McMullan continued: “We would like to have full costs rather than incremental costs for the next year because of the fact given, after a reduction in the number of officers, it doesn’t seem reasonable we would absorb that full cost of those 200 officers.
“We have got assurances it is being given serious consideration.”
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