14 arrested after tree is moved to block Cuadrilla site, say police

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A total of 14 people have been arrested at the Cuadrilla site in Balcombe this afternoon (Friday 26 July).

Around 60 protesters gathered in a stand against the oil drilling firm.

Sussex Police said some had moved a tree across the entrance to the site in London Road and were blocking access.

A spokesperson said: “Protest liaison officers spoke to those at the site and negotiated with them to move from the access.

“However when that didn’t happen, 14 people were arrested, five for causing danger to road users, and nine for section 241 of the Trade Union Labour Relations act for attempting to stop drivers and other workers from accessing the site.

“All the arrests have been made peacefully.”

Superintendent Steve Whitton added: “Sussex Police fully supports the right to demonstrate peacefully and within the law and also facilitate the contractors to carry out their business.

“Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for protesters, residents and the contracters, to minimise disruption to the community and to prevent crime and disorder.”

All the arrests have been to ensure public safety.