Campaigners expose document on dealing with anti-frackers
A POLICE memo advising how to deal with anti-fracking protesters in North Yorkshire refers to the use of “potentially lethal force.”
Peace campaigners obtained the blueprint through a freedom of information request.
But North Yorkshire Police insisted they were impartial towards fracking, and said it was “false to suggest potentially lethal force” would be used against protesters.
However, anti-fracking campaigners, who have established a permanent protest camp outside a fracking site in North Yorkshire, said police have shared the Operation Kingfisher memo with fracking firm Third Energy, which is drilling on a site known as KM8 near the village of Kirby Misperton in Ryedale near the North York Moors National Park — proof that they were “cosying up” to the fracking firms, according to campaigners.
The FOI request was submitted by Frack Free Ryedale member Russell Scott.
He said the document states “potentially lethal force may only be used where absolutely necessary and in very limited circumstances defined under the European Commission on Human Rights Article 2(2), such as self-defence or to protect the lives of others.”
Mr Scott said the contents of the memorandum “have shocked the peaceful anti-fracking campaign in Ryedale.”
The campaigners have established a permanent “Kirby Misperton Protection Camp” at the drilling site.
Local Liberal Democrat councillor Di Keal said: “All the campaigners are trying to do is protest against an industry that thousands of people do not want to see industrialise our countryside and put public health and the local economy at risk and they have a legal right to do so.”
Mr Scott rejected the police’s claim that they were acting impartially. He said: “The memo has received no public consultation which is simply not acceptable considering the huge opposition to fracking in Ryedale.
“Furthermore the draft document also discusses the use of ‘potential lethal force’ on protesters which is quite staggering considering the peaceful nature of the anti-fracking community.”
York Labour MP Rachael Maskell visited the protest camp at Kirby Misperton yesterday to show her support for the protesters.
She said: “The world is paying a heavy price for irresponsible decisions over energy production and use as climate change continues to accelerate, and if politicians do not heed this urgent message, then it is vital that citizens are allowed to use the power of protest to wake politicians up to this catastrophic reality.”