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Overtime and mutual aid bill soars as fracking protesters dig their heels in


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Kirby Misperton Protection Camp has become almost synonymous with the anti-fracking movement.

An anti-fracking march on 4 November from Kirby Misperton to the nearby fracking site. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

An anti-fracking march on 4 November from Kirby Misperton to the nearby fracking site. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Policing the anti-fracking Kirby Misperton Protection Camp cost North Yorkshire Police more than £400,000 in three months, a report has revealed.

Third Energy has been moving equipment on site - most-widely known for its close proximity to Flamingo Land, now almost synonymous with the anti-fracking movement - since September.

Despite losing a legal challenge against the decision to grant planning permission at the site, protesters are undaunted and have reportedly even dug a vegetable plot and installed solar panels.

North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has announced she will publish the monthly cost to her force of policing the camp.

Between August and October the bill for overtime, mutual aid, equipment and subsistence totalled £415, 418 (doubling from £101, 476 in September to £233,704 in October).

Ms Mulligan said the surge in costs was due to a “number of factors” including an increase in protest activity and support from other police forces in the form of mutual aid.

She said: “As well as keeping people safe at the Kirby Misperton site, I am also keen that business as usual is maintained across the county, as far as possible. 

"If mutual aid is required, then that must be the decision, although as you can see from the figures, it is costly.”

Policing Minister Nick Hurd told the PCC she is welcome to seek partial recovery of costs if expenses exceed £1.4m, or one per cent of the force’s overall budget, she said.

Since September, 75 people have been arrested, of which were 64 charged, cautioned, or released on bail/under investigation, in connection with protest activity at Kirby Misperton.

Three people have been charged with assaulting a police officer.

Superintendent Alisdair Dey said: “As well as facilitating people’s right to assemble and protest peacefully, part of our role is to keep disruption to local residents and businesses to a minimum.

“We are responding proportionately to any protest activity, which means at times there is an increase in the number of police officers in Kirby Misperton as we work to keep everyone safe.

“When protests are safe and peaceful, we are able to scale down our resources at Kirby Misperton, and redeploy those officers on other duties, such as high-visibility patrols and neighbourhood policing elsewhere in North Yorkshire.”

Police have thanked residents of Kirby Misperton and nearby villages for their support, patience and understanding throughout the policing operation.

Supt Dey added: “I know that protest activity has had a significant effect on the local community, particularly in October, but I want to reassure everyone that we are doing all we can in difficult circumstances to make sure residents can go about their daily lives safely and without disruption.”

Police Oracle has contacted Kirby Mispertion Protection Camp activists for comment. 

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  • Pavillion

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  • David

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  • Beaker

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I hope all of those protesters didn't drive there, either in the cars we see parked up or otherwise. I also hope they don't use hair straighteners, dishwashers or any other kind electrical appliance that could be deemed a luxury.

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42 minutes ago, David said:

I hope all of those protesters didn't drive there, either in the cars we see parked up or otherwise. I also hope they don't use hair straighteners, dishwashers or any other kind electrical appliance that could be deemed a luxury.

Why?

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Why aren’t the company picking up part of the tab?

Is there a need for a constant police presence?

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Why aren’t the company picking up part of the tab?

Is there a need for a constant police presence?

They're just going about their lawful business, so I believe we're obligated to deal with the protesters outside on the roads. So the company doesn't have to pay, and I'd say there does usually need to be a police presence. They're actually rather annoying too. I've bumped in to a couple of the anti-frackers while on duty (not allowed to actually police the site), and they've been argumentative and stubborn. It reminded me of dealing with teenagers who have been told they can't have their iPhone back.
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44 minutes ago, Pavillion said:

Why?

Just a guess on David's comment but its probably the irony that fracking will provide a great source of energy (allegedly) for electric generation etc - the same electricity and energy the protestors are/will be enjoying!

 

25 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

Why aren’t the company picking up part of the tab?

Is there a need for a constant police presence?

As Beaker suggests, the company is going about their lawful activity.  And as the protesters are there permanently, wouldn't police  look silly if protestors simply  waited for the police to leave before being naughty! 

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If the protesters observe their right to peaceful protest then the police would not need to be there.

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If the protesters observe their right to peaceful protest then the police would not need to be there.

They block the roads by climbing on trucks, locking on, and often being pains in the bum. Then the local mags will often find them no guilty. The ones over here like to call themselves "The Protectors", and anyone in a yellow jacket "Government Sponsored Thugs", "Caudrilla's private security army" and the like. My very limited experience was off the fracking site, and three of them trying to provoke me while one hid behind a car with their phone out filming. I just smiled, nodded and planned where I was buying refs from as i'd left my dinner at home.
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2 hours ago, Beaker said:


They're just going about their lawful business, so I believe we're obligated to deal with the protesters outside on the roads. So the company doesn't have to pay, and I'd say there does usually need to be a police presence. They're actually rather annoying too. I've bumped in to a couple of the anti-frackers while on duty (not allowed to actually police the site), and they've been argumentative and stubborn. It reminded me of dealing with teenagers who have been told they can't have their iPhone back.

I did one shift on Mutual Aid for PNR up your way and it was with a doubt the most annoying day of public order work I've ever done. But the 21 hours pay for an 11.5 hour shift and the decent scoff your chaps dished out was worth it. 

Like PNR though, these chaps will be there until another site sets up shop and they'll move on. They won't stop the company and after more than a few of these sites are up and running I'll bet the protests die down. 

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2 hours ago, Mac7 said:

If the protesters observe their right to peaceful protest then the police would not need to be there.

The problem being, that they will not do it peacefully or lawfully. Such is life I am afraid.

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I did one shift on Mutual Aid for PNR up your way and it was with a doubt the most annoying day of public order work I've ever done. But the 21 hours pay for an 11.5 hour shift and the decent scoff your chaps dished out was worth it. 
Like PNR though, these chaps will be there until another site sets up shop and they'll move on. They won't stop the company and after more than a few of these sites are up and running I'll bet the protests die down. 

I drive past there on a fairly regular basis on my way home after lates. Since the weather turned there are noticeably less of them there at the times I go past. One dude was marching backwards and forwards over the gate at 4am over the summer. You North Wales?
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1 minute ago, Beaker said:


I drive past there on a fairly regular basis on my way home after lates. Since the weather turned there are noticeably less of them there at the times I go past. One dude was marching backwards and forwards over the gate at 4am over the summer. You North Wales?

MerPol. I worked it September and there were just over a dozen or so. All the tents were empty and supposedly the main camp sites had emptied out too. I think the day I worked it Kirkby Misperton started up!

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They're all crazy luddites. We've been hydraulically fracturing oil and gas wells for years with no problems.

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17 hours ago, David said:

You don't think it stands to reason then?

If I read your above comment correctly, no.

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