Is Fracking Protests Wasting Police Time?!

Fracking. Controversial to say the least. Yet, in the last few weeks, we’ve seen the issue hit national news.

Preston New Road has filled with press teams, protesters and even a Dame.

Caudrilla has been given the right to begin fracking at the site just off Preston New Road and following their first official day of operating this week, there have apparently been 4 minor earthquakes because of Cuadrilla’s operations.

Yet, my main thought about all of this? The amount that we are having to spend on policing this site.

Instead of their essential duties, police are having to patrol a piece of road whilst people sit on the pavement, or occasionally jump on a Cuadrilla lorry.

Instead of addressing the issue of rising uninvestigated crimes and more pressing issues, they are having to close the road, like they did this last week, whilst also maintaining a constant presence to keep the peace between protestors and Cuadrilla.

The cost of policing the road has been estimated by the Lancashire PCC as around £7 Million. Now, I understand that it is a quintessential British right to protest, however, it infuriates me that this much money is being spent just so that people can hang around on a piece of road.

Cuadrilla and the protesters, in my opinion, are both as bad as each other. Caudrilla is legally able to operate there. The protestors are legally allowed to be there.

However, some protestors are breaking laws and creating a public nuisance, which makes a police presence necessary.

Fracking has been refused everywhere else in the UK. I know that. I agree, that Cuadrilla is in the wrong.

We should not have fracking in the UK. But, at the end of the day, it’s going ahead. Yes, we need to protest, lobby and change the decision. But the way in which we do it should not cost the public and the police £7 million.

Jamie Wade

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