Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Fracking protesters say police use 'excessive force'
Pressure is mounting on police after complaints about excessive force used by officers on protesters at a controversial fracking site.
A video sent to The Argus appears to show police officers breaking up a human chain by manipulating pressure points behind a man’s ear and bending his wrist.
Sussex Police were asked on Monday morning to clarify the techniques and tactics since the protest began six days ago, but as The Argus went to press last night, they had still failed to respond.
Keith Taylor, the Green Party’s MEP for the South East, has written to Sussex Police over what he describes as the use of excessive force against protesters.
In the letter to the Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Mr Taylor said: “Given the peaceful nature of the protest I was concerned to hear reports from both my own staff and others that your officers seemed to be using excessive force against protesters last week.
“Specifically I was concerned to see video and photographic evidence showing officers apparently using pressure point techniques against some protesters who had locked arms on the side road leading to Cuadrilla’s drilling area.
“The use of this kind of force seems to me to be excessive given the peaceful nature of the protest and could run the risk of exacerbating tension between protesters and police.”
A total of 23 arrests have now been made at the site.
Music teacher Frances Crack, 31, from Taffs Well in South Wales was arrested in Balcombe on Friday after travelling to Sussex to support the anti-fracking campaigners.
She said: “The brutality I saw going on around me shocked me to my core.
“It was horrifying. I was totally shocked by the way the police handled it all.
“They were approaching us in the v-shaped formation so a lot of us just sat on the floor.
“I was told that if I didn’t move I would be arrested.
“I don’t really think they wanted to arrest me because I didn’t look like your stereotypical campaigner or protester.
“Iamagainst fracking in the UK, and I thought by showing a bit of solidarity, the people of Sussex would support Wales when it is inevitably our turn.”
A spokeswoman for Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “It is a difficult balance for police – to support an absolute legitimate right for people to protest peacefully and also uphold the legal right of the company to operate.”
WE want your questions for a high-profile anti-fracking campaigner who will feature in this week’s Your Interview.
Sussex is now on the front line of the controversial fracking revolution.
The Battle of Balcombe continues to rage on as anti-fracking protestors stand defiant against drilling company Caudrilla, who now want to start drilling in the sedate village.
This week’s Your Interview features high-profile anti-fracking campaigner Vanessa Vine, right, founder of Frack Free Sussex.
On Caudrilla, she has previously said: “They have underestimated the local resistance. They will have a big fight on their hands.
“Fracking threatens to contaminate our water and our air, and the roads are not suitable for the tankers.
“We do not need to take more fossil fuels out of the ground – we need to invest in clean renewable technology.”
Do you want to challenge Vanessa's views? Or maybe you want to know more about the fracking process?
Send in your questions for Vanessa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01273 544 682.
The interview will be published on Friday.
- Travel Watch Live
- Sentenced to life: Royal Marine from Brighton who shot wounded Afghan in cold blood
- Bomb squad called to Brighton street
- Sussex business winners line up to take top honours
- Severe flooding in Shoreham after River Adur bursts its banks
Comments are closed on this article.