Anti-fracking is no terrorism threat, police chief confirms

A Yorkshire police force has issued a statement to clarify that anti-fracking protestors are not considered a terrorism threat.

Anti-fracking protestors

North Yorkshire Police said it had decided to comment publicly after concerns were raised by anti-fracking campaigners.

The region remains a hotbed for the anti-fracking movement where campaigners vehemently oppose the highly controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing.

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Campaigners currently await a High Court ruling on a legal challenge brought by the Frack Free Ryedale group and Friends of the Earth. The judicial review seeks to quash North Yorkshire County Council’s decision in May to allow Third Energy to frack near homes in the village of Kirby Misperton.

Amanda Oliver, Acting Assistant Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.

The same campaigners responded with outrage last week when a Driffield School safeguarding newsletter for parents was shared on social media. The newsletter linked anti-fracking with far right extremism in a list of local priorities regarding the Government’s counter terrorism strategy, and led the school headmistress Diane Pickering to issue an apology.

Police forces are also guided by the Government’s counter terrorism strategy.

To make clear the stance of North Yorkshire Police, Amanda Oliver, the force’s Acting Assistant Chief Constable, said: “To avoid any doubt, anti-fracking protesters are not seen as a terrorist threat by the police in North Yorkshire.

“On the contrary, the groups of local protesters have been nothing but peaceful and respectful of the law. Not one arrest has been made in connection with protest action associated with the issue in our area.

Amanda Oliver, Acting Assistant Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.

“We will continue to liaise with all groups involved in the issue, to ensure people’s right for lawful protest, maximizing the safety of all concerned, while minimising disruption to the wider community.”