policing

North Wales Police pulls officers out of Lancashire fracking site

pnr policing 170720 DoD

Policing at Preston New Road. Photo: DrillOrDrop

North Wales Police has confirmed it will not be sending more officers to police protests outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool.

The force supplied officers at the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton for a week earlier this month and a team of a sergeant and six constables will be on duty this week.

But North Wales Police has turned down a request for reinforcements for another four weeks and a statement today said the support would end on Friday:

“We regularly support colleagues across the region as and when we can and when asked. As a force we also benefit from their support and it’s only right, when able, we reciprocate.

“North Wales Police officers have supported colleagues in Lancashire between 9th and 14th July and then from 23rd to 28th July.

“However due to high demands in north Wales over the holiday season, we are unable, at this time, to offer any further support. Colleagues in Lancashire are aware of, and understand this decision.”

“Let Cuadrilla pay for their own security”

Arfon Jones North Wales pcc

Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner. Photo: N Wales PCC

At the weekend, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones, an opponent of fracking, said on Twitter:

“No more @NWPolice officers will be going to facilitate Cuadrilla’s business in Lancs. Let them pay for their own security.”

n-wales-pcc-post2.jpg

In a statement today he asked:

“Why should officers from North Wales be sent to police and facilitate an activity where the activity is more or less unlawful in their own country?”

Mr Jones said he was unhappy about North Wales officers going to Lancashire but the decision to pull out was operational.

“I was told last week that there would be no further deployments after I made representations around capacity issues in North Wales and questioned how could we justify sending officers to Lancashire in those circumstances.

“I’ve now been told there will be just one more week of support in Preston and that North Wales Police have refused a request for a further four weeks of reinforcements.”

Mr Jones said he was an environmental campaigner before he was elected Police and Crime Commissioner. He said:

“I have opposed fracking as I considered it a danger in many respects but mainly because of potential pollution of water.

“I was a prominent member of Frack Free Wrexham and campaigned strongly and eventually successfully to prevent IGas carrying out exploratory drilling at Borras.

“I was also prominent in lobbying Welsh Government to issue a moratorium over fracking in Wales which they did and will continue to lobbying them utilise new powers delegated to them over energy to ban fracking in line with other European countries.”

Direct action

The North Wales force is one of several providing officers to Lancashire to police the protests at Preston New Road. Last week police from Cumbria were outside the site.

The officers are deployed under a so-called “mutual aid” system, where one force provides assistance to another. This is usually in response, or expectation, or a major incident. It began at Preston New Road on 10 July 2017.

This coincided with 24-hour policing at the site in response to a month of direct action by the national group, Reclaim the Power. It said the actions had resulted in 16 working days of blockades of the site entrance.

pnr 170724 Reclaim the power

Lock-on protest at Preston New Road, 24 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

This morning four people, most from Oxford, used arm tubes to form a barrier against incoming vehicles. Supporters of the action dressed in red striped t-shirts with masks of the Where’s Wally character.

Alice Smith, who took part in the protest, said:

“We are here today because Cuadrilla are taking us for wallies by undermining local democracy and putting the environment at risk by pursuing fracking in Lancashire. But the real Wally is Cuadrilla as it becomes clearer that the fracking industry has no future in the UK.”

Four people were arrested this morning, two for allegedly obstructing the highway and two on suspicion of committing offences under trades union legislation.

Lancashire Police would not comment on the decision by North Wales to pull out of the mutual aid scheme. So far, the force has been also been supported by officers from Merseyside, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire and West Mercia.

Rising costs and arrests

Data collected by Lancashire Police has put the cost of policing the site from January-June 2017 at £846,502. There have been 182 arrests and 169 charges over the same period.

Cuadrilla said today:

“The right to protest should not supersede the right to work.”

Pat Davies from Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes Cuadrilla’s operations, said:

“Any policing bill should not be met by local people but by Cuadrilla. They should meet those costs in full.”

69 replies »

  1. Yes,TW, this exploration phase is tedious stuff, and dusters are known but the half glass full would suggest there could also be a very positive result. A duster just keeps things on the slow track, a very positive result mobilises other companies and the public.

    Some of the exploration companies may be constrained if they find dusters, but others are not, and would quickly fill the gap.

  2. Fib. Maybe a dry well is not a correct term because shale rarely produce a dry well. But a unviable flow rate is very possible like the case of Poland after only a couple of well all the oils majors have pulled out. In the case of UKgeology it maybe a bit more favorable for a good flow but a couple of duster at the start would ends the investment nterest pretty quickly.

  3. The article may clearly state that the earthquakes are caused by injecting wastewater but the earthquakes at Preese Hall in 2011 weren’t. They were caused by Cuadrilla fracking.

  4. CONSULTATION:

    THE LATEST UN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING

    “EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISIONS THAT CAN AFFECT THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH IS OF KEY IMPORTANCE TO UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE (UNECE). To this end, the present publication consists of two separate, but closely linked sets of recommendations (published on 14th December, 2015):

    (i)
    Maastricht Recommendations on PROMOTING EFFECTIVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS: prepared under the Aarhus Convention and

    (ii)
    GOOD PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: prepared under the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).”

    Both documents can be accessed via this link:
    http://www.unece.org/info/media/news/environment/2016/two-publications-in-one-your-toolkit-for-effective-public-participation-in-environmental-decision-making-and-in-strategic-environmental-assessment/doc.htm l

    *****

    THE FORWARD:

    “In many countries across the world active environmental citizenship is flourishing. Citizens are increasingly aware of their RIGHT TO HAVE A SAY ON THE ENVIRONMENT THEY LIVE IN AND TO DEMAND PARTICIPATION IN DECISIONS that may affect their own and their children’s lives.

    However, environmental democracy is not a given. Its increasing importance is a response to the implementation of numerous projects in the past that have had a significant impact on the environment and the livelihoods of people. These projects were pursued over the objections of the public and, in particular, those of vulnerable groups, such as children and women, rural communities and the poor.

    At the forefront of the push towards greater environmental democracy are the CONVENTION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS — or Aarhus Convention — and the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context.

    THESE INTERNATIONAL TREATIES WERE CRAFTED TO SERVE PEOPLE’S INTERESTS AND TO EMPOWER THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISIONS THAT HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO AFFECT THEIR LIVES.

    Based on the principle of the right to a healthy and favourable environment and the notions of SUSTAINABLE development and environmental democracy, these treaties put in place mechanisms to realize these ideals in practice.

    THE TWO INSTRUMENTS DETAIL PROCEDURES TO ENABLE THE PUBLIC TO BE INFORMED ABOUT AND PARTICIPATE EFFECTIVELY IN DECISIONS THAT MAY AFFECT THEIR LIVES.

    While negotiated in the framework of UNECE, both instruments are open to accession by non-UNECE States. They promote universal principles, & there is increasing interest in them both within the region & globally.

    The Recommendations on Public Participation developed under THESE TREATIES AIM TO ASSIST POLICYMAKERS, LEGISLATORS & PUBLIC AUTHORITIES IN THEIR DAILY WORK OF ENGAGING THE PUBLIC IN DECISION–MAKING PROCESSES. They provide helpful guidance for engaging all interested stakeholders, so as to improve decision-making, planning & the implementation of policies & programmes at all levels.

    In addition, the Recommendations will contribute to Government efforts to tackle poverty & inequality by ensuring that all persons, including the poorest segments of society & rural communities, are given the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect them &, as a result, to benefit from the income generated from economic activities.

    At the Rio+20 Conference THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED THAT GOOD GOVERNANCE & A TRULY SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY REQUIRE THE EFFECTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF THE PUBLIC, BE IT AS VOTERS, CONSUMERS OR SHAREHOLDERS.

    I am therefore convinced that these Recommendations will also help to pursue a people-centred post-2015 development agenda & SUSTAINABLE development goals.”

    Christian Friis Bach

    Executive Secretary
    United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

    The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947 by UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC and SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC)*. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. UNECE’s major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration.**

    * https://www.un.org/ecosoc/
    ** http://www.unece.org/mission.html

    UN Good Practice For Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment & Decision Making (December, 2015)

    *****
    Also, see:

    “UK FORESTRY STANDARD FOR PLANNERS:
    WOODLANDS, TREES AND THE PLANNING SYSTEM IN ENGLAND”:
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/sites/default/files/files/FC_UKFS_for_Planners.pdf

  5. “PREPARATION OF CORE STRATEGIES”

    (Government Guidance for Local Authorities)

    “Participation

    4.19
    The UK government has signed up to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Ảrhus Convention). Article 7 states:

    “Each Party shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for the public to participate during the preparation of plans and programmes relating to the environment, within a transparent and fair framework, having provided the necessary information to the public.”

    4.20
    The production of core strategies should FOLLOW THE GOVERNMENT’S PRINCIPLES FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN PLANNING.

    INVOLVEMENT SHOULD BE:

    • APPROPRIATE to the level of planning;

    • from the outset – LEADING TO A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP of local policy decisions;

    • CONTINUOUS – part of ONGOING programme, NOT A ONE-OFF EVENT, with clearly articulated opportunities for continuing involvement;

    • TRANSPARENT and ACCESSIBLE – using methods appropriate to the communities concerned; and

    • planned – as AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PROCESS for making plans.

    4.21
    The council must produce a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) which should FOLLOW THESE PRINCIPLES. The involvement of the public in preparing the core strategy MUST follow the approach set out in the SCI.”

    (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2008, p. 11)

    *****

    REFERENCE:

    Department for Communities and Local Government, 2008. Planning Policy Statement 12: Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities Through Local Spatial Planning. London: TSO (The Stationery Office).

    http://www.communityplanning.net/pub-film/pdf/PlanningPolicyStatement12.pdf

    • Technotronic.
      “Pump up the jam. Pump it up…..”
      Very good tune 90′ song. But I got lost half way through ypur post.

  6. I think someone has the wrong board, or they are a cut and paste junky.

    Cuadrilla have all permissions in place and every authorisation they need to proceed, the rest is froth. But then we are at the stage where all the arguments have been made against, without any real effect, so all straws being grasped.

  7. “precautionary” simply means there is no validated evidence against this practice but our views trump yours so we will decide for you. Pretty democratic-if you are a N. Korean.

  8. ‘Precautionary’, I would suggest, implies a substantial body of credible evidence that harm might ensue, but evidence falling short of conclusive proof of the demonstrable cause-effect type. This being the case, ‘precautionary’ advocates delaying until the evidence is clearer with a view to protecting all parties. Bit of a leap to anti-democratic and North Korean.

    • THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

      ‘The UK government has signed up to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Ảrhus Convention). Article 7 states:

      ‘Each Party shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for the public to participate during the preparation of plans and programmes relating to the environment, within a transparent and fair framework, having provided the necessary information to the public.’’

      (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2008, p. 11)

      *****
      The Government has agreed to adopt and apply the precautionary principle in its agreement to Agenda 21 at the Earth Summit meeting at Rio, in 1992, which states:

      “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’ (Principle 15)”.

      (Forestry Commission, 2011)

      *****
      European Directive 2001/42/EC (legislation):

      “Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community…
      …(1) Article 174 of the Treaty provides that Community policy on the environment is to contribute to, inter alia, the preservation, protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, the protection of human health and the prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources and that it is to be based on the Precautionary principle.

      Article 6 of the Treaty provides that environmental protection requirements are to be integrated into the definition of Community policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.”

      (European Parliament, Council of the European Union, 2001)

      *****

      Guidance provided by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) – “the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation”:

      “The Precautionary Principle is one of the key elements for policy decisions concerning environmental protection and management. It is applied in the circumstances where there are reasonable grounds for concern that an activity is, or could, cause harm but where there is uncertainty about the probability of the risk and the degree of harm.”

      (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2007)

      *****
      REFERENCES:

      Department for Communities and Local Government, 2008. Planning Policy Statement 12: Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities Through Local Spatial Planning. London: TSO (The Stationery Office).

      European Parliament, Council of the European Union, 2001. Directive 2001/42/EC of The European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on The Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on The Environment, Luxembourg: European Union.

      Forestry Commission, 2011. The UK Forestry Standard: The governments’ approach to sustainable forest management. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Forestry Commission. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/ukfs

      Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 2007. The Precautionary Principle and Approach. [Online] Available at: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=2519 [Accessed 16 June 2015].

  9. Sorry laith, you are totally wrong. This is not the way the precautionary principle is applied, (certainly not in Europe) so, far from it being the case, your definition is fiction. It may be the way such a concept should be applied but I have dealt with it in European product assessment matters and it certainly is not anywhere near your suggestion. My comments are based upon experience, others can resort to definitions and semantics but will be disappointed.

    • I am sure Technotronic is able to reply for himself/herself, but my guess is that he/she had the approach I suggested in mind. The application of the principle might as you suggest be very different, Martin, but this does not invalidate the principle or the thinking behind it.

  10. I’m afraid it does exactly that laith. If the principle or the thinking behind it has been routinely ignored/transduced a precedent has been created and will continue, maybe even within law. That is the reality-someone comes up with a concept worthy of attention and in no time others have hijacked it and altered it for their own purposes and made a nonsense of the original. The precautionary principle is saddled with a bad rep., that will not change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s