Police chief welcomes government cash for anti-fracking protests

10th Mar 2017 (20 police line up)

Police outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 10 March 2017.

The government is to provide £4.3m towards the cost of policing anti-fracking protests outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner confirmed this afternoon.

Clive Grunshaw said the cost of Operation Manilla outside the Preston New Road site near Blackpool, will have reached nearly £11.5m by the end of March 2019.

Last year, the government gave Lancashire £1.4m, the minimum allowed under Home Office rules.

But in a letter yesterday, the policing minister Nick Hurd said the government had decided to waive the rules on the Special Grant repayments. He said this was because the operation, which began in January 2017, was ongoing and was having a “significant financial impact” on Lancashire Police.

Mr Grunshaw said:

“This is a real victory for the people of Lancashire.

“Whilst the grant doesn’t cover the full costs of the operation, it is a huge contribution and will make a significant difference, recovering what we have already spent.

“I have always maintained that the police budget, from which we’ve already saved £86m since 2010, should be spent on policing services to keep people safe. This is not extra money but will lessen the burden on the force.

“This is a resource demand which is not likely to leave Lancashire any time soon. Protests are still ongoing and are expected to escalate as we enter spring and summer and officers on the ground continue to do a very difficult job under intense pressure and scrutiny.

“The decision to frack in our county was borne in Whitehall after the judgement made by Lancashire County Council was overturned. The expectation on Lancashire Constabulary to cover the costs of this decision was not a fair deal so I am pleased this has been recognised and additional costs for this operation are being met.”

Under Home Office rules, police and crime commissioners can claim only for the additional costs of a police operation. These comprise costs such as overtime and mutual aid from other forces.

Claims can be made only when the operation costs exceed 1% of the annual police force budget. But the government has waived this rule, Mr Grunshaw said.

The additional costs for the Lancashire operation amount to £6.8m. The payment from the government is made up of a special grant of £2.3m for 2018-2019. This represents 85 per cent of the total additional costs.

An additional £2m has also been given towards the 2017/18 costs. This makes the total grant received for the operation £5.8m. A further application will be considered for the financial year 2019-20.

As part of Operation Manilla, Lancashire Police have recorded 435 arrests and 429 charges up to December 2018. There is no police data on the number of convictions arising from arrests and charges at Preston New Road.


95 replies »

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/04/ineos-chairman-jim-ratcliffe-criticises-government-fracking-policies

    The UK’s richest person has launched an attack on the government’s fracking rules, accusing ministers of policies that will cause an “energy crisis” and “irreparable damage” to the economy.

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of petrochemicals firm Ineos, pledged four years ago to start a UK fracking revolution but the company has been bogged down in planning battles and is yet to drill or frack a single well.

    The businessman, who is worth £21bn, accused the government of taking an unworkable and unhelpful position on seismicity and planning rules.

    “They are playing politics with the future of the country. We have a non-existent energy strategy and are heading towards an energy crisis that will do long term and irreparable damage to the economy and the government needs to decide whether they are finally going to put the country first and develop a workable UK onshore gas industry,” he said.

    Perhaps Ruth can interview Sir Jim and do an article for DOD?

    • Well well, the return of the Monaco Migrant right on cue?

      Didn’t I say that this government was ready to hide behind the brexit debacle and change the rules?

      “So no go there, maybe the promises of martial law due to the bottled brexit debacle will allow them to sneak under the duvet and quietly free the industry from their own bonds? That old government tenet, never let a good disaster go to waste, sneak as much under the cover as possible and hope everyone is too concerned with other things to notice? But we notice don’t we boys and girls?
      Oh yes we do!”

      I was right on the nail wasn’t I? No wonder you got so all upset and abusive?

      So next time you spout your usual empty drivel comments, I will remind you of this little episode, because I was far too close to the truth wasn’t I?

      Shades of Mystic Smeg! Who I see is doing his customary sycophantic toady impression with far too much cringe making embarrassing enthusiasm and frightening the horses.

      Maybe we can have a double interview with Jim and Ian to balance it up a bit? I know how much you admire and respect Ian R Crane and how much we love and respect JC….Ooops! JR!

  2. So this should mean that Grunshaw’s begging bowl can go back in the cupboard and our Council Tax increases to fund his aggressive anti-fracking policing not required!
    Not that there’s much fracking happening at the moment!

  3. Lancashire Constabulary paid to play for the Opposition. Disgusting treacherous behaviour!

    Cuadrilla damaged my home on August Bank Holiday Monday despite my peaceful protests!

    I wonder if Lancashire Constabulary will help me prosecute Cuadrilla?

    I’m sure I would be prosecuted were I to be so uncivilised as to take a sledgehammer to the walls of the fancy new Police HQ in Blackpool!

    I’ll be finding out shortly! Obviously not about the Police HQ, that’s already been rattled by the August Bank Holiday Monday fracking induced 2.9 Earthquake!

  4. Judith,
    You asked for examples,
    Here’s a very recent one, my house was damaged by the August Bank Holiday Monday Cuadrilla fracking induced 2.9 earthquake.
    A certain Charteered Engineer living nearby also had his property damaged as have over one hundred more homeowners. As yet Cuadrilla are being very coy with exact numbers and the identity of the Insurance Company handling our claims against them!
    Don’t say we didn’t tell you this was going to happen Judith, [edited by moderator]

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