£900,000 bill for Notts shale gas policing

190401 Misson protest Tina English 1

Protest at IGas shale gas site at Springs Road, Misson, 1 April 2019. Photo: Tina English

Policing at two IGas shale gas sites in Nottinghamshire has cost nearly a million pounds, campaigners have revealed.

Frack Free Misson said this morning it had been told the total cost of police operations at Tinker Lane, near Blyth, and Springs Road, near Misson, stood at £900,000 up to April 2019.

190401 Misson protest Tina English 2

Protest at IGas shale gas site at Springs Road, Misson, 1 April 2019. Photo: Alan Finney

The figure, provided by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, represented nearly 0.5% of the Nottinghamshire force’s spending on policing services for 2017-2018.

The PCC’s office confirmed to DrillOrDrop it would not be seeking government reimbursement for the costs because they were below the Home Office threshold.

There have been regular protests against operations at the IGas sites since January 2018.

The Tinker Lane exploration well, drilled in November 2018, failed to encounter the Bowland shale.

At Springs Road, the company is currently analyzing results from the first of two permitted wells, drilled in January-February 2019.

If the results at Misson predict commercial success, a planning application to frack is expected.

Frack Free Misson said that on one more than one occasion there had been in excess of 30 police personnel present at Springs Road, along with vehicles and support units.

But at the time there had been small numbers of protesters, the group said.

Frack Free Misson described the total figure as a “considerable financial outlay” especially when pressure on police services was acute.

It said in a statement:

“Apart from the financial impact, the imposition of the fracking industry upon our community has led to the diversion of police resources away from their duties of serving and protecting the communities who pay for them.

“Council tax payers and local businesses have had to contend with increasing levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, whilst dozens of police are deployed at the behest of a private corporation to facilitate the unjustifiable extraction of fossil fuels.”

Mark Watson, a member of Bassetlaw District Council, which includes the two sites, said:

“It seems very unfair that residents should bear the costs of a high-profile police operation to protect the interests of a commercial organisation when the residents do not support the development in question and the company involved does not make any financial contribution to the police costs.

“If a football club requires policing for a match, they have to pay for it. Why does the same not apply to IGas?”

Campaigner, Dennis May, who sought the data on policing costs through freedom of information requests, said:

“The hidden issue is the diversion of personnel and resources away from community policing, in the wake of government cuts and at a time when crime is rising.

“This is just another of the immeasurable socio-economic costs being borne as a result of the governments imposition of this unjustifiable and unsustainable ‘industry’ upon our communities.” 

Lock-on protesters deny obstruction

Two anti-fracking campaigners from Sheffield have denied obstruction of the Springs Road site in a protest, during a Fossil Fuels day of action on 1 April 2019.

The pair locked themselves together inside a reinforced concrete tube, blocking the entrance for nine hours.

Their trial is due to take place at Mansfield Magistrates Court on 29 August 2019.

32 replies »

  1. If I buy my courgettes at a Farm Shop instead of buying them imported from Spain, Pauline, there is no requirement for me to eat more courgettes! I just stop all that environment cost of transport and give some profit to the farm shop who then may pay some tax to provide elderly people with their winter fuel payment so they can buy gas instead of dying from the cold in winter.

    Strange logic you apply. Is oil and gas taking Norway away from a more sustainable way of life? No, it is providing the revenue to do the opposite.

  2. Martin. It may not make you eat more courgettes but your growing your own won’t prevent the Spanish farmers from still growing theirs, Result, a greater number of courgettes produced which someone will eat. Likewise, England starting up a whole new unconventional gas industry won’t prevent other producers who are already producing gas adding to the amount eventually burnt. 80% of known fossil fuels already need to be kept in the ground and left unburnt if we are to have any chance at all of keeping global temperatures anywhere near the levels needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.

  3. Pauline Jones, the lie that West Newton is a fracking site, the one used as an excuse by the activists for their behaviour.

    We are going to be using oil and gas for a while longer, whether you like it or not.
    The conventional oil and gas, if they are commercially viable at West Newton, will displace some of the gas that is imported from Norway into the nearby Dimlington terminal and some of the oil shipped in to the two nearby refineries at Immingham.

    As for developing a more sustainable and renewable way of life. The evidence that we are moving forward on that front can clearly be seen at West Newton with the Withernwick onshore windfarm, the Tansterne biomass energy plant and the gigantic Hornsea offshore windfarm, all close by.

  4. Sorry Pauline, you need to go back to your studies. Production meets a demand. You reduce demand and production has to fall otherwise you have product produced that rots in the field. Sorry Spain. But don’t take my word for it Pauline-just ask any UK farmer.

    Equally, if we buy less gas from Norway they may reduce output but extend the life of their reserves. Alternatively, they may export to a new market who reduce purchases from an existing supplier. Either way, they will still forge ahead with alternative energy and great social provision thanks to the income generated.

    Or, more likely, the huge growing demand from India and China will mop it up, which will happen no matter what UK does.

    The reality of simple supply/demand still seems to evade the antis. Perhaps it has to in order to justify their stance?

    Meanwhile, thousands will still die from fuel poverty related medical conditions in the UK every year whilst UK is exporting tax income that could be used to reduce that. No wonder the antis grab hold of any spurious medical data with such gusto-remember the selenium which was not even there! Stopping things has consequences. You may wish to ignore them but the (still) majority, do not.

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