The chief constable of Sussex Police, Martin Richards, has said the nearly £4m cost of policing last year’s anti-fracking protests at Balcombe was “value for money”.
In an interview with the Mid Sussex Times, he explained: “The public suffered no real serious injury, protestors were allowed to protest within reason, and the private sector, the company Cuadrilla, were able to carry out their lawful business.”
Despite the recent not-guilty verdicts at trials of anti-fracking campaigners, Mr Richards told the paper he would not have done anything differently. “We were faced with real risk of significant injury and significant disorder, and we had people who were carrying out lawful activity and we also had people who we believed to be carrying out unlawful activity. And whilst we facilitate protest we don’t facilitate unlawful activity, and we have to take action if it is appropriate.”
Mr Richards said the policing strategy has been influenced by protests against live animal exports at Shoreham harbour and by the miners’ strike. He said the strategy had been reviewed. “I am confident we followed the right sort of lines,” he said.
- The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner told InvestigatingBalcombeAndCuadrilla.com this morning (3/2/14) she was still waiting for a response to her application to the Home Office to cover the policing costs at Balcombe.
- We also asked Sussex Police for the results of the strategy review. We’ll let you know the response.