Police investigate video of officers joking about arrest tactics for Lancashire anti-fracking protesters

Louise Robinson arrest 3

A livestream video which shows Lancashire police officers joking about the arrest tactics for anti-fracking protesters is being investigated by the force.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police confirmed to DrillOrDrop that the incident had been referred to the professional standards department.

The video was filmed on a phone when a protester, Louise Robinson, was arrested on Friday 25 August, near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site on Preston New Road at Little Plumpton.

Ms Robinson is seen being arrested and put into a police van for an alleged public order offence.

Police confiscated the phone but it continued to livestream while Ms Robinson was taken into custody.

It records officers suggesting the arrest was a useful tactic to divert the attention of protesters when delivery lorries were approaching Cuadrilla’s shale gas site.

In the video, at about five minutes, one officers is heard saying:

“It was probably better to get her when she was away from the big group … I think it happened at just the right time to allow the vehicles to go in. It kind of like distracted them. I think we should do that more just as they’re coming in.”

Ms Robinson was later released without charge after what another protester said was about eight hours in custody.

A second video of the incident, this time filmed by Ms Robinson on her phone, also showed the arrest.

This phone was also confiscated by police. When the phone was returned, Ms Robinson said the video was missing. It was later retrieved from a cloud storage platform and showed Ms Robinson being gripped on her arms by officers and complaining about a red mark caused by police.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said:

“We are aware of these videos and they have been referred to our Professional Standards Department.

“At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Both videos can be watched online

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s operation at Preston New Road have complained about increasingly aggressive policing at the site. One protester suggested that police were targeting women and older or disabled protesters.

We put this to Lancashire Police. A spokesperson said: “We would not comment on this.”

32 replies »

  1. Carol-I do agree. Whilst it was genuine objection from local people I had every sympathy, but, unfortunately, some were happy to get other groups joining in to magnify the protest without any apparent concern for how the protest was to be controlled. On top of that there has been a pattern of incitement against all forms of authority that might get in the way of an increasingly extreme agenda.

    So, Ineos apply for an injunction to prevent this sort of activity for their locations, and are criticised! Let the local mums watch some of this stuff, and they will be all for it, whether they agree with fracking tests or not.

    I’m sure many of us have experience of the police falling below standards we would like, but this goading to try and produce a reaction and then use it to try for further justification/recruitment is self defeating, as the police will only apply other tactics if they think they become required-great news for some, but bad news for the genuine protestors.

    • it’s genuinely shocking that you people are more offended by a few word used in anger [edited by moderator] than the action that has brought about the need for these people to protest, honest you all need to grow up and quit acting like snowflakes, our world is being destroyed by these tyrants and you all cry about a few people calling these tyrants names. honestly get with it

  2. So, Nathan, If one of the policeman was coloured, someone could call him what they liked and it would just be a “few word in anger”? I suspect you really believe that. I, for one, want some respect shown for others-don’t think that makes me a snowflake, just have different standards to you. Are my standards wrong? Well, I suggest you try this sort of behaviour at a football stadium-I suspect the stewards would have the whole of the rest of the crowd helping with the ejection, and the club would apply a lifetime ban.
    As I have stated, I have respect for those who want to genuinely, peacefully object, (I have done my fair share, in the past) but none for the hijackers of this. Dress it up as you like, but just unpleasant people, so don’t come moaning about injunctions being an infringement. It is apparent they are necessary to protect locals who want a peaceful life to be protected from unpleasant people. (I suspect when it happens, claims will be made such actions were a set up by Ineos!)
    Well done, another own goal.

    • no racism isn’t acceptable, but then so is police corruption and police brutality. if you call someone stupid then what’s the problem, [edited by moderator], its an observation and clearly a fact not an insult. crying about it won’t change the fact. granted, using the term spastic is wrong however this is clearly taken out of context, the person clearly doesn’t think the person is a spastic, dumb certainly, a bully for sure, [edited by moderator]. all these reasons are enough to make anyone angry and speak out of terms. I’ve seen a lot worse from the police in all honestly and can’t really blame any protesters for acting aggressively given the type of close minded oppressive [edited by moderator] they are up against. [Edited by moderator]
      I’m sure when these people started protesting there were pleasant and polite, we all saw the footage months ago of their very peaceful protest. however, it isn’t working is it? the sheer ignorance they are constantly confronted with from the police and the money men who hire them, the press and even the close minded public is staggering and obviously has angered these people to the point where democracy is obviously failed. fight fire with fire I say, if the police want to bully people then they should expect the same treatment back. remember the police are our servants, not our oppressors, it’s time they remembered that and started working with the public, not against them.

      please remember this one vital truth, throughout history the police have always deliberately caused trouble with peaceful protesters, so they can then use their actions against them. we saw it in the 70’s with the minor, the 80’s with the gipsies and that dumb criminal “justice” bill that [edited by moderator] Thatcher tried to impose on us, continued into the 90’s with the ravers and the naughties with the students and anti war protesters. [edited by moderator]
      it’s time we start facing the fact that our rulers are the problem,[edited by moderator] viva le resistance

  3. Well, Nathan, you have an interesting agenda, but it does seem to be very different from that of the locals who feel they are protesting to protect their environment. Equally, you have failed to do your homework to see how PNR protest has evolved.
    This was all quite predictable but it is a shame how the origins and basis for the protests have been hijacked because the police and media will have different methods to deal with that. I commented many months ago how PNR was a test, not only for fracking, but the actions of the protestors. Whether fracking will pass the test, who knows, but I’m afraid the protest is very close to losing the test.
    It might become clear to some, shortly, why the bigger fish have been quite relaxed to let the small fry do the ground work for them. For all the nonsense about “big oil” being a villain, no big player has played their hand-yet.

  4. Still wondering what resulted from this toxic behaviour by police officers!

    Ruth could you investigate please?

  5. I’m still intrigued as to what was the outcome of this apparently disgusting behaviour by Lancashire Constabulary!

    Could anyone involved request this information via a FOi request please?

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