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Police drop 5 cautions from Balcombe protests

Sussex Police has agreed to withdraw five cautions accepted by people arrested at last year’s anti-fracking protests at Balcombe.

The cautions were dropped after representations by solicitors, Kellys, that they were not in the public interest following the acquittals of other people arrested in similar circumstances. Four of the cautions related to August 19th 2013, the day of action during the Reclaim The Power camp, and one to September 10th 2013.

Lydia Dagostino, of Kellys, said: “We are extremely pleased that there has been a thorough review by Sussex Police and that they have agreed to remove the cautions of a number of people arrested during the Balcombe protests.

“This is particularly important for young people where a caution will have impacted on their future. It cannot be in the public interest for a record to be kept when individuals are arrested for doing no more that engaging in peaceful protest”.

14 people arrested on August 19th, including the MP Caroline Lucas, were acquitted on charges of obstructing the highway or failing to comply with conditions imposed by police under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, or both.

The judge at the trial of Caroline Lucas and four others said the Section 14 conditions were unlawful. The Crown Prosecution Service later dropped the case against two other people arrested that day. The poet, Simon Welsh, arrested on September 9th, was also acquitted on a Section 14 charge

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