“Let Cuadrilla pay for their own security” the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner said
North Wales police have declined requests to send more officers to anti-fracking protests in Lancashire, their commissioner saying the fracking company should “pay for their own security”
The police and crime commissioner for North Wales, Afron Jones, has said officers from his force will not reinforce security at a controversial fracking site in Lancashire.
“No more North Wales Police officers will be going to facilitate Caudrilla’s business in Lancs. Let them pay for their own security”
Mr Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, tweeted over the weekend.
North Wales police said in a statement that they would not be providing reinforcements due to ‘high demands in North Wales over the holiday season’.
The force sent officers to the fracking site on Preston New Road earlier this month but has turned down requests for reinforcements for another four weeks.
“Why should officers from North Wales be sent to police and facilitate an activity where the activity is more or less unlawful in their own country?”
Mr Jones said in a statement yesterday.
In response to direct action from the anti-fracking group Reclaim the Power, police officers have been attending the site on the outskirts of Blackpool 24-hours-a-day.
Lancashire Police estimated that their presence at the site has cost £846,502 between January and June this year alone. In this time there have been 182 arrests and 169 charges.
Mr Jones, an environmental campaigner before he became commissioner and strong opponent of fracking, said in a statement yesterday: “I considered it a danger in many respects but mainly because of potential pollution of water.”
“I was also prominent in lobbying Welsh Government to issue a moratorium over fracking in Wales which they did and will continue to lobbying them utilise new powers delegated to them over energy to ban fracking in line with other European countries.”
Officers responding to the anti-fracking protest have been deployed under a “mutual aid” system, where one force provides assistance to another. This is often in to response a major incident.
Reclaim the Power said that their month-long action had resulted in the fracking site being shut down for 16 days.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.