policing

96 arrests at Lancs anti-fracking protest in July 2017

pnr policing 170720 DoD

Policing at Preston New Road in July 2017. Photo: DrillOrDrop

July saw the largest number of arrests in a month so far at protests outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool, according to figures released by Lancashire Police.

There were a total of 96 arrests outside the Preston New Road site last month, more than double the number in the June.

Total arrests 2017

July’s figure represents 35% of the total number of arrests since the protests began in January 2017.

July saw the so-called month of Rolling Resistance, coordinated by the national campaign group, Reclaim the Power. Also in this month, officers from across the UK joined the Lancashire force to police the protests.

At the time of writing, Lancashire Police have not released July’s figures for charges. So, it is not possible to tell how many of the arrests will result in charges. Figures for previous months show almost all arrests have resulted in charges. The Crown Prosecution Service decides whether the charges will go to court.

Highway obstruction and Trades Union law

Different reasons for arrest

The largest number of arrests in July was again for allegedly obstructing the highway (63 arrests or 66% of the July 2017 total). This continues a trend seen in the arrest figures since April 2017. This reason for arrest now represents 50% of the total recorded since January 2017.

The next highest reason for arrest in July 2017 was under Section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (12 arrests or 13% of the total).

Under this legislation, introduced to outlaw secondary picketing, a person commits an offence by compelling another person to abstain from doing something they have a legal right to do. This could be by: watching a place where business is carried out; using violence or intimidation; following a person; or hiding tools, clothes or property.

Arrests under Section 241

July saw the highest monthly figure for arrests under the Trades Union Act so far since the protests began. But arrests under this legislation represent only 8% of the total at Preston New Road since January 2017.

In July, there were also four arrests for allegedly creating a public nuisance. This is the first time this reason for arrest has been listed at the Preston New Road protests.

There were six arrests under section 25 of Road Traffic Act. This deals with tampering with motor vehicles: either climbing onto a vehicle or tampering with brakes or other mechanisms.

No arrests under Public Order Act

In July, there were no arrests under the Public Order Act.

There have been no arrests under Section 4 of the Public Order Act, which deals with threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, since February 2017 (1% of total arrests since January 2017).

Section 5, which deals with harassment, alarm or distress, has seen no arrests since May (3% of total arrests since January 2017).

There have been no arrests under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which deals with breaches of conditions on public assembly, since March (12% of total arrests since January 2017).

Also in July 2017, there were no arrests for:

  • Assaulting the police (2% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Criminal damage (1% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Drunk and disorderly (less than 1% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Breach of the peace (1% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Aggravated trespass (4% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Theft (less than 1% of total arrests since January 2017)
  • Dangerous cycling (1% of total arrests since January 2017)

Data

Table of arrests

Please let us know by clicking here if you would like this data in Excel format.

 

 

5 replies »

  1. Thanks for these figures Ruth, an interesting break down. Particularly the use, or misuse of Section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act.
    And also that none have been arrested under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, which deals with breaches of conditions on public assembly. That is curious isn’t it? Perhaps that is too much paperwork and the outcome risky as to police and industry provocation?
    I have to say that this just goes to prove why I would not support the actions of the Reclaim The Power movement, it just gives the authorities an excuse to tar everyone with the same brush and bring about the injunction. One could ponder on possible underhanded rentamob provocation strategies if one were to be so brave as to risk the reaction to such a comment?
    But in balance, I am sure there are extremist factions who work through government and related authorities, we see that here often enough, if not throughout the entire planet?
    The report is quite one sided though, are there similar figures for police violence obstruction of peaceful protest and criminal assault by police and private security staff?
    Including those reported but not actioned by the police or authorities? Now that would add some balance wouldn’t it?
    I think I have upset enough apple carts for one day.
    Lets think of a poem or a song for Sunday?
    At least the history of this unnecessary conflict, unnecessary that is because we should not have to tolerate the invasion of a known polluter into our country, is being recorded here, and as I believe, the social aspects of these events will be of great interest to those who survive, or replace us in the distant future. Who, or whatever they may be.

    [Comment edited at poster’s request]

  2. Arrests increase as the process continues, in spite of protests, Hardly a shock- my kids became more awkward as they saw that they were not getting anywhere with their “revolutions”. Initially tantrums, then the “terrible” teens, all part of the growing up process. Eventually, they learn that whinging and shrieking is going no-where. In this case, good news for the police-all these arrest bonuses ahead of the August holiday period-well done guys and others, enjoy the extra, you deserve it. Don’t spend it in N.Wales though-not deserved.

  3. Is that all? It looks like the anti frackers were pretty well behave. But now most of the bad one have been arrested they may be running out of people to arrest.

    • Well, I promised a song, what better than these?
      Apologies to Roger Waters whose Lyrics I admit to altering somewhat
      “Perfect Sense, Part II”
      And
      “What God Wants”

      Can’t you see
      It all makes perfect sense
      Expressed in dollars and cents
      Pounds shillings and pence
      Can’t you see
      It all makes perfect sense
      Little black shale fragments in perfect focus
      Prime time fodder for the News at Nine
      Gas for the child warm in the bed tonight
      Hi everybody I’m Donald Trump
      And welcome to our twittercast
      Coming to you live from The Blackhouse Asylum
      It’s a beautiful day
      And today we except a sensational matchup
      Bur first our global anthem

      “Can’t you see
      It all makes perfect sense
      Expressed in dollars and cents
      Pounds shillings and pence
      Can’t you see
      It all makes perfect sense?”

      And here come the players
      As I speak to you now the Mercaptan
      Has his cross hairs zeroed on the oil rig
      It looks to me like he’s going to attack?

      By the way did you know that a SubShale Mercaptan earns $200,000 a year?
      Ahh, that’s less tax Donald less tax
      Uh thank you Baron,
      you’re welcome
      Now back to the game he fires one yes!
      There goes two both fish are running
      The rig is going into a police defense!

      Will they make it? I don’t think so!

      [beautiful singing voice for this chorus]

      “Can’t you see
      It all makes perfect sense
      Expressed in dollars and cents
      Pounds shillings and pence
      Can’t you see

      It all makes perfect sense!”

      Have a wonderful Sunday, enjoy the sun, the source of all our energy.

  4. What a waste of time breaking down the arrest figures .
    They all broke the law so the police acted .
    If you want to protest do it in a law abiding way .
    Breaking the law just brings discredit to your campaign.

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