Six more arrests at Cuadrilla ‘fracking’ site, as total arrested tops 100

Announcement made to anti fracking protesters by police. Pic Steve Robards
Announcement made to anti fracking protesters by police. Pic Steve Robards

Six people were arrested at Balcombe today, bringing the total number of arrests on the site past the 100 mark.

Protesters had pulled a caravan across London Road around 1.45pm, keeping the road blocking the road for about an hour and a quarter minutes.

A 26 year old man, who police say had locked himself to the caravan, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway and an offence under Section 241 of Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act after being released by specialist protest removal officers.

Earlier in the day, two people were arrested on suspicion of breaching the Section 14 notice that came into force at 9am today.

The notice, issued under the Public Order Act 1986, provides an assembly area where peaceful static protests can go ahead.

Police say both men, one aged 29 from Leicestershire and one aged 34 from Balcombe, were in custody this afternoon.

A 24-year-old man from Southampton and a 45-year-old man from Brighton were both arrested on suspicion of offences under Section 241 of Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act, the Brighton man also arrested for obstructing police.

A 46-year-old man, no address given, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer as police facilitated the arrival of a lorry at the drilling site.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison said: “We have provided an area where protesters can clearly see and be seen to be carrying out their legitimate right to peaceful protest opposite the entrance to the drilling site. While they do this we are quite happy to facilitate their protest, but the criminal activities of some are having a significant impact on the local community and this is not acceptable.

“We have again seen a number of arrests, bringing the total to more than 100 since the protest began in July. Ours is a very simple message: exercise your legitimate right to lawful protest, but please refrain from activities that are going to bring you to the attention of police. If you choose to break the law, then you face arrest and it is up to you to consider the consequences of that.”