Lancashire Police corrects statement on “breach of fence” at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site


Photo: Ros Wills

Lancashire Police issued a correction today to its earlier statement that 150 people had attempted to break into Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road after an anti-fracking national day of action on Saturday (25 February 2017)

The statement, posted on the Fylde Police Facebook page, had said

“A significant number of protesters believed to number around 250 made their way to the Cuadrilla site on Preston New Road

“Around 150 of those proceeded to try to breach the fencing and to gain access to the site.”


Statement on Fylde Police Facebook page posted on 25 February 2017

Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes Cuadrilla’s activities, complained that the information was incorrect.

Today, the force retracted the statement.


Correction posted on Fylde Police Facebook page 1 March 2017

It said on Facebook:

“Following an event on Saturday at Maple Farm badged as a national day of anti-fracking action we posted information on these pages suggesting that a large number of protestors had tried to breach the fencing and to gain access to the site.

“This information was incorrect and it was in fact a handful of people, understood to be largely national protestors, who engaged in disorder. The remainder, and the vast majority, protested lawfully and we would like to apologise for any distress caused to those who attended and did protest lawfully.

“Our approach is always to ensure a consistent and coordinated policing response and ensure a balance between the rights of people to lawfully protest, together with the rights of the wider public, including local businesses, to go about their lawful activities.

“We aim to prevent, where possible, crime and disorder, but where it does occur we will provide an effective, lawful and proportionate response.

“An investigation is on-going to identify any criminality.”

Preston New Road Action Group said today:

“We’re pleased to see the correction and clarification from Lancashire Police regarding the weekend’s defamatory comments that “150 people breached the fence” has now been amended to “a handful of people” at Cuadrilla’s site on Preston New Road.

“It’s a shame that much reputational damage has already been done to the public’s perception of peaceful protestors, but there is nothing that can be done about that now.

“People will continue to express their right to peaceful protest, however they choose, as Cuadrilla continue to operate in our community with no social license, mounting planning breaches and in the face of ongoing legal challenges.”

17 replies »

  1. This clears things up. I hope they hold an investigation into how the completely fictitious numbers came about.

  2. Forgive my ignorance of the policies and agendas of our wonderful police force, who’s sole purpose is to protect the public from organised criminal activities who flout the law and seek to profit from it.
    It wouldn’t be that the police have been instructed to ignore any transgression by people such as, purely hypothetical of course, Cuadrilla, Igas, Third Energy et al, and instead arrest, intimidate and falsely accuse public protesters to give ammunition to the complicit media?
    No, surely that could not possibly be the case could it? That would be LALA Land, oh, sorry wrong card, Moonlight!

    • Excellent remarks SafetyCatch . Can’t wait for the ” play” about Fracking to start touring the country , the original having stared Anne Reid and James Bolam . James Bolam and his wife Sue Jameson have done great work exposing the dangers of Fracking having being involved in protecting their own village .

      • Hello Eliza, just a newbee on these pages trying to make sense of it all. I shall look up the play you mentioned, maybe there is a local showing. Ttfn.

  3. Oh, SafetyCatch!

    Have you never been caught by the “fuzz” speeding, cycling on a pavement, talking on a mobile when driving etc.,etc., etc??? And that would be outside of their “sole purpose”?

    I think you will find the police have a much wider responsibility than you would suggest or desire.

    • Martin, why do you use a slang name for HMG’s Constabulary? I understand “fuzz” refers to the felt covering of the police helmet introduced in the 1860’s. Hardly complementary is it? Perhaps you have some issues yourself? You mention speeding, have you been caught speeding perhaps?
      Maybe the police do have wider agendas, publically announced or not. Apparently defending democratic objective principles and preserving a balanced response is no longer in their remit. The recent moves to privatise police forces and combine forces across counties, and I assume eventually to sell them off to the highest bidder, can only further compromise their objectivity toward little more than a hired privatised militia. Some would say this has all ready happened. You only need to look at historical records to see the public police forces are the first to be absorbed by extremist regimes.
      Have you noticed that the police are no longer in blue uniforms? Across the forces they now are now dressed in black para military garb with yellow black and flak jackets?
      This has all been done quietly under our gaze, hidden in plain sight.
      Are the police truly objective and balanced any more?
      Not in this event at least.

    • It is amusing. The only people I have ever met that is copying and using this “snowflake” meme could generally be called “dimwits”. They use this phrase as a cover all for topics they lack the intelligence to understand, and believe that anything going against the Tory or UKIP corporate line is to be ridiculed. CORPORATE line being the emphasis word. Well, snowflake are sharp in nature, where as you, sunshine, have started to melt, and hereafter shall be called SLUDGE.

  4. SafetyCatch-if you wish to decide what the police should do that’s your choice. You might just find the law decides what they should do, but your agenda is quite clear. It seems to have very little to do with fracking, and I suspect the police will now be looking out for that.

    And whilst we are concerned with accurate language, why do we have a headline about “retracts”? I would have thought, to be accurate, it should have been “adjusts” or similar. Looking at the text there is no indication of withdrawal.The story is the same, they have just changed the numbers.

    • Hi Martin. Thanks for your comment. I think you make a good point. I always want to be accurate so I have changed the headline to “corrects”. Thanks again for pointing out some loose language. Best wishes, Ruth

    • Your agenda is quite clear? Really? I assure you that you don’t have even the slightest idea why I began to post on this site, which, by the way, is about fracking.
      It was mainly to bring some balance to the fracking issue, and partly to test just how quickly and strongly a new poster questioning fracking would be jumped on in an effort to dissuade further posts, and the actual issue raised be ignored, congratulations on that, one post was all it took.
      The only requirement I have is for the truth about fracking to be discussed and to see if that is being prevented on line and why and by whom.
      What was suggested was that rational debate was subject to an agenda to drag the important national issue of fracking down to the level of the gutter trolls. The police issue seemed to be a good place to start, since the truth was clear, that numbers were deliberately falsified to feed the fake news media. It is interesting to see how transgressions that call fracking into disrepute are minimised as ‘Nothing important’ and of ‘no consequence’ yet the tiniest transgression of the objectors real or not, is exaggerated out of all proportion with whoops of joy. The police were caught out giving false figures and suddenly the fraud is of no importance, yet there are cries of lock them up if people so much as walk slowly in front of a lorry, at the same time attempts to run protesters over are ignored by the police, that is very revealing.
      At the end of the day, regardless of anything else, people will judge the fracking issue by what is done, not by what is said to be done. There will be one hell of a backlash when it all goes wrong, the 100% assurance was a dead giveaway, as we all know it will fail and it will be messy, it had better not be the tax payer who is expected to pick up the bill for the clean up job.

  5. Ruth why are you not reporting on what Mr. Dewar said today that he welcomes anyone to come and have a chat with them about their concerns? The rest of the media has reported it and I’d rather not have to get my fracking news elsewhere as it’s easier to post on your WP site. Thanks.

  6. Hi GottaBKidding Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve written a piece – I’ve been waiting for confirmation from Third Energy’s PR company that the quotes ascribed to John Dewar were fair and accurate. I will be posting very soon. Best wishes, Ruth

  7. Thank you Ruth. I was not meaning to be pedantic. It’s just I am a Virgo and we have a particular difficulty with details!

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