News & Comment

Police are “glorified security guards” of the fracking industry

NORTH Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Arfon Jones says the Police have become the “glorified security guards” of the fracking industry. Unless the “well-funded” fracking industry is prepared to foot the entire bill, Mr Jones believes police officers should not be present at any of the demonstrations at drilling sites across the UK. In the first full set of answers to the #wedemandtherights campaign‘s 16 questions put to all 42 PCCs, Mr Jones said: “All forces are under pressure and we can ill afford to provide glorified security guards to police a practice that many of the public we…

Read more

News & Comment

£75,000 a year but nothing to say about fracking

AFTER 25 hours and 10 minutes the #wedemandtherights campaign has its first response from a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to its set of 16 detailed questions concerning the recent INEOS High Court injunctions and the policing of fracking demonstrations. In answer to our 831-word covering letter and question set, John Campion (Conservative), Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police, responded in just 14 words – nine of which merely confirmed his identity: “The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, has no comment on this.” Mr Campion – who promised in his 2016 election that he would be a…

Read more

News & Comment

Crime commissioner says INEOS injunctions ‘erode’ civil liberties

THE Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Wales (pictured above) endorses the view that the current INEOS injunctions against the anti-fracking movement represent a threat to civil liberties. Earlier this morning (28 November) Arfon Jones, who was elected in 2016 to represent the North Wales Police area, retweeted our report ‘The INEOS injunctions: Undermining the right to protest’ (26 November) with the words: “Please read if you’re interested in the erosion of our civil rights by the state”. Crime commissioner challenge wideopenroads now challenges the 41 other PCCs to read our article and endorse it similarly. We will report…

Read more

News & Comment

INEOS wins High Court fracking battle

  THE anti-fracking lobby has suffered a blow against its direct action activities after a High Court judge this morning upheld temporary injunctions awarded in favour of shale gas explorer INEOS in July. In his 47-page judgement (which can be downloaded at the bottom of this post) the Honourable Mr Justice Morgan rejected almost all the argument of the defendants – “persons unknown”, and two named defendants including Liverpool University student Joe Boyd – that any direct action-style activities should be dealt with by criminal law on a case-by-case basis; and that the temporary injunctions amounted to a breach of…

Read more

News & Comment

BGS – “We’ve tried to distance ourselves as far from fracking as possible”

A REPORT on Thursday’s BGS Community Engagement Meeting/Exhibition in Frodsham (16 November) to follow. The article will reflect on the claimed role of the BGS on Ince marshes in the coming years, and test the claim of one its chief scientists, who told me: “To be honest, we’ve tried to distance ourselves as far from fracking as possible.” I am also awaiting response to a series of detailed questions about a presently undefined number of contracts that BGS scientists admitted to me had been undertaken privately by their organisation at the expense of companies engaged in shale gas operations in…

Read more