policing

Ministers to pay costs of policing North Yorks fracking protests

180226 KM Carol Jefferson-Towner

A woman climbed onto a lorry removing the rig from Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, 26 February 2018. Photo: Carol Jefferson-Towner

The government is to pay almost all the extra costs of policing protests outside Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

The county’s police and crime commissioner announced yesterday (6/3/2019) that the Home Office would contribute £614,000. This is 85% of the extra costs, the maximum allowed under government special grant funding.

North Yorkshire Police estimated that the protests had cost an extra £700,660.

The protests started in September 2017, when the first deliveries of fracking equipment were made to Kirby Misperton, and ended in spring 2018, when the site was cleared.

Third Energy did not frack at the site because the government delayed granting final consent. DrillOrDrop understands the company failed an assessment of its financial resilience, required by the energy secretary, Greg Clark.

Last month, DrillOrDrop reported that the company had made commitments to frack one well a year in Ryedale up to 2022.

Under revised terms of its exploration licences, Third Energy is required to frack at Kirby Misperton by the end of 2019. It has also agreed to drill and frack another three wells in the area in the next four years.

Responding to the Home Office grant, North Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, Julia Mulligan said:

“It is right that the Government has agreed to pay these costs. The police operation had a significant and visible impact on the local community, but it has also had an impact more widely across North Yorkshire given the number of officers involved.”

She said the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police had carried out a review of the North Yorkshire policing operation at Kirby Misperton. It concluded that policing was efficient and effective, Ms Mulligan said.

“The hydraulic fracturing may resume later this year and I fully expect that will bring with it the protests. I know plans are already in being put in place for this. It is a contentious issue with passionate views but the police have upheld the law fairly and in conjunction with the Human Rights Act, and I know they will do so again.

“Despite the overall success of the operation, there are always lessons to be learned and I am confident they have – from community engagement to a drive to bring further efficiencies and effectiveness.”

  • In December 2018, Lancashire councillors called for more money to fund protests outside Cuadrilla’s site at Preston New Road. Lancashire Police estimated that its operation had cost more than £9m since protests began in January 2017.

Updated at 13.42 on 7/3/2019 to correct figure for total extra costs

 

13 replies »

  1. It is very much not right for Government to pay police to act against it’s own people’s wishes. For the police to act for one person (Third Energy) against another (MR/MRS) is crime against their own laws, Court and Justices Act and carries a term of up to 14 years or a fine or both… Police are supposed to impartial, NOT partisan to the Energy company…

    • timkelly
      The police should be partisan in applying the law. The wishes of the people is a matter of politics and who gets voted into the various positions available in a democracy.

      Hence the anti fracking conservative MP in East Derbyshire.

  2. The Government do not pay. It is us, the tax payer who pays-whether out of local taxation or national taxation.

    Wonder how many libraries the antics of the antis have cost?

    • OH for the love of God Martin, You’re a total fantasist. If this tory government didn’t even entertain the idea of allowing these greedy frackers a licence let alone allow this destructive industry to even start in the first place, They would have saved millions from all the extra police etc.
      Wake up and smell the rich flavours of uncontaminated organic soil!

      You’re really scraping the contaminated and toxic effluent filled barrel!!

      • Don’t let the facts get in the way of your rant, one. Who allowed the licences???

        I suggest someone who sticks to the facts is not the fantasist. Someone who can’t even be bothered to check what they are posting is a fantasist or, worse, thinks others are pretty gullible.

        Please tell us-what soil is not organic?!

        Try thinking about what you are posting-or find one of the remaining libraries and do some research.

          • You won’t be able to access the best research at the ‘remaining libraries’ – oh hang on, perhaps that’s where you go? Now it all makes sense….

  3. Ruth: ‘DrillOrDrop understands the company failed an assessment of its financial resilience, required by the energy secretary, Greg Clark.’ Is there any more detail on this as it’s the first I’ve heard of any outcome to the test.

    Julia Mulligan said: “It is right that the Government has agreed to pay these costs. The police operation had a significant and visible impact on the local community, but it has also had an impact more widely across North Yorkshire given the number of officers involved. She said the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police had carried out a review of the North Yorkshire policing operation at Kirby Misperton. It concluded that policing was efficient and effective, Ms Mulligan said.”
    It’s actually us, the taxpayer paying these costs, whether via central taxation or council tax. Did the review of the policing operation assess the cost benefit of removing a huge number of police officers from front line policing (including crime of every description) across the whole county and beyond to police non-violent, peaceful protest for several months? If so, who made that decision and at what level? I’ve asked the PCC twice now and not had an answer. I’m not aware of many crimes, other than perhaps murder, having that level of policing justified.
    “Despite the overall success of the operation….”
    The massive police presence we paid for facilitated an almost bankrupt company to move a load of fracking equipment on site, then move it off again when the govt eventually got round to closely inspecting Third Energy’s finances and found them to be woeful and inadequate. Success?

  4. Hi Mike. Thanks for your comment. Alan Linn, of Third Energy, said at a meeting in Malton on 11 October 2018 that BEIS had refused to give consent for fracking at KM8. When I followed this up with him after the formal part of the meeting he said the company was seeking additional finance so that it would pass the financial resilience test. I understand there are currently questions being put to government/ministers on whether Third Energy has passed the test.

  5. Thanks for your response and diligence Ruth. As far a I’m aware, TE haven’t found any more money, but they did flog off their offshore assets in return for some O&G shares. While this wouldn’t pay for any damage or remediation at KM8, or to replace their ‘way past their sell by date’ pipelines and generator assets, it remains to be seen whether a dollop of funny money is satisfactory enough for BEIS to kick start the test frack.

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