First arrest at Broadford Bridge oil site as protests oppose rig installation

Broadford Bridge 170525 Weald Oil Watch4

Deliveries to Broadford Bridge site, 25 May 2017. Photo: Weald Oil Watch

Sussex Police said this evening a 61-year-old man from Lindfield had been arrested outside the oil exploration site at Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst. A spokesperson said he was suspected of obstructing the highway.

Broadford Bridge 170525 with permission

Photo: Used with permission of the author

This was the first arrest at the site and came as the drilling rig was being installed. The operator, UK Oil & Gas, said all permissions were in place and it expected drilling to start shortly. More details and pictures

Opponents of operations at the site gathered outside the entrance and carried out “slow walking” protests in front of delivery lorries site from about 12.30pm.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said:

“On Thursday (May 25), a police liaison team engaged with a number of the protesters who were walking in front of vehicles on the road adjacent to the site.

“Due to concerns for their safety and other users of the B2133 road, which has a 50mph speed limit, they were asked to continue their protest off of the highway. All but one left the road.

“We recognise the right for people to assemble and protest in a public place and we will always seek to facilitate peaceful protest. Our priority is the safety of everyone involved in and around the site and affected local communities, ensuring that we can effectively respond to emergencies and deal with any unlawful activity.

“A 61-year-old man from Lindfield was arrested on suspicion of causing wilful obstruction of the highway. He remained in custody on Thursday afternoon.”

DrillOrDrop understands he was taken to Worthing police station.

Pictures of the installed rig

11 replies »

  1. You would have hoped that at this difficult time for the police, everyone could think of helping them rather than hindering them.

  2. If people think that not using your democratic right to protest to improve the world we love somehow strengthens the democracy that the police are having a ‘diificult time’ protecting, I suggest they go and see a doctor. But not me.

    • Of course you alone possess the insight into what is an improvement for the world. Some would say that being warm in winter and being able to go places at the drop of a hat in the car or hopping on an aircraft and able to swim in the mediterranean the same afternoon, having clothing and food etc.., is a decided improvement on the Stone Age. You are probably not adverse, yourself, to doing these things. Then, again. if you are a doctor you will readily use the fruits of research all, at some stage, or another, dependent upon manufacture and travel and electronically gathered statistics. Unless you do none of these things then you are a proxy supporter of modern living.. If you are as a result of this information deciding to give it all up, then may I advise you that you should not live in a tent, it is a manufactured product dependent upon oil, gas, or coal in its manufacture, the cotton, or flax was grown on fertilised fields…So now you are going to use a flint axe and fell a few saplings and gather some leaves to make a tent, now you are beginning to really aid the environment…… but wait a minute, done light that fire to cook with, fires pollution the atmosphere don’t they ?. Oh and a word of caution, felling saplings with a flint axe to make a shelter is not without problems, you see in the Stone Age, as to day, some people think that they own those saplings and the very land that you have put your shelter up on, it could get nasty

  3. Wasting yet more police time. Nothing to do with fracking. Heavy fines or removal of benefits would put a swift end to it. A tiny insignificant minority have far too loud a voice on these shores. I’m all for right to protest but I’m 100% against preventing people from carrying out their business when it has gone through the correct channels.
    On another note but indirectly linked to our anti friends I’m looking fwd to Corbyn shooting himself in the foot tomorrow with his little speech, he is the epitome of the naive left.

  4. There had to be at least one! An individual who takes a deliberate action to break the democratic law, which is upheld by the adult voting public of this country, and he is defended because it is his “right” to do so. We have the police force in this country working flat out to protect the community at a time of the highest security alert the country can apply and yet such deliberate nonsense is defended. These people want to be outside society, they should be treated as such. I suspect, if the case goes to court, the court will recognise whether the timing of this refusal to co-operate with the police needs attention.

  5. Listen….you can hear the frackboots marching down every road, every street, every country lane. Cheered on by the imported RentAMob shill fanatics who scream for the local residents to be arrested for daring to speak their minds in their own country, in their own towns cities and villages, and outside their own local road where the unwelcome invaders illegal activities have squatted. How dare they protest against against Big Fracker and the soulless money junkies. Mothers and children, fathers and babies, all dyed in the wool fanatics out to protect their land and their health, How Dare They!
    [Edited by moderator]

      • Interesting Paul that you removed “imported RentAMob shill fanatics” from my heading for the photo / video above but left the same words where I copied and pasted them from in Mrs. PhilC / Safetycatch post above. If anyone is to be described in such terms it is the protestors verbally abusing the Police in the videos….

  6. Good to see Walkers doing the business hauling to and from the site. This means our area is benefitting from the business, in addition to the 100 additional jobs at Caladonian … building the accommodation for the nuclear power station workers and offices. Tinker lane and Misson, just up the road.

    The company was also happy hauling wind turbines and other renewable kit. I cannot remember if anyone slow walked in front of them then. The fading anti wind farm posters have all but disintegrated.

    Here we have oil, wind, biodigestors, acres of solar (displacing crops), plenty of power stations ( coal and gas), with one offal and bone powered one coming on line end year, and only a 90 minute trip to the east coast seaside to see nothing but wind turbines on the horizon.

    A view we will soon be able to see at Brighton I understand.

    What is not to like about a diversified energy portfolio in your back garden.

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