Court date for Kirkham anti-frack man

The Anti-Fracking campaign
The Anti-Fracking campaign

A 68-year-old man from Kirkham has been told to appear before court for allegedly obstructing police.

It comes after a protest at Kirkham police station by anti-fracking campaigners on Wednesday, May 17.

They have a difficult job to do, people must be kept safe, but also people have the right to protest

A police spokesman said: “A liveried police vehicle was deployed from the rear yard to an emergency incident.

“It was displaying blue emergency lights and sirens.

“Whilst the yard was being cleared of campaigners, who had unexpectedly moved to the rear yard, one man blocked the path of the vehicle preventing its deployment.

“After viewing footage of the incident, a 68-year-old man from the Kirkham area has been identified and reported for summons for an offence of obstructing police.”

The protesters at the event said the police have too many officers at Cuadrilla’s shale gas drilling site off Preston New Road at Little Plumpton, that it is costing too much and that policing has been heavy handed and rough.

It was intended to be a silent vigil to represent what they see as campaigners being gagged by the policing, but at times it became confrontational as a handful of protesters became angry.

Supt Richard Robertshaw, the man in charge of policing the controversial site, said: “Our intention and desire is to very much facilitate peaceful protest. We want people to be able to exercise their democratic right.

“However, that also needs to be balanced against the right of Cuadrilla to develop the site.”

He said the majority of protesters were peaceful and he praised the professionalism of police officers in the face of others who were more provocative.

Fylde councillor, Heather Speak, said: “We were updated on the police operation and had the chance to ask questions such as why they need so many officers on duty at Preston New Road and the cost.

“They have a difficult job to do, people must be kept safe, but also people have the right to protest.”