Arrests as police dismantle protestors’ camp

Protestors have been told they have to pick up the cost of their eviction after contractors moved to dismantle the campsite at the Crawberry Hill site near Walkington.

Drilling for gas
Drilling for gas

Three arrests were made as bailiffs, backed by a huge police presence, took down caravans, tents and other wooden structures at the site.

Richard Howarth, from the Green Party, criticised the authorities for closing the road and preventing journalists from accessing the site.

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He said: “I could see around 100 police in total and a large number of bailiffs in helmets and high vis jackets.

“Anyone who remained on the highway was arrested. The protectors moved to private land, watching over the gate as bailiffs started dismantling structures and throwing them in a skip. This has been peoples’ homes since May. Despite this people were remaining calm and also defiant.

“They are not going anywhere. It is really important that the camp remains to monitor Rathlin’s activities.”

He said the council had previously tried to recoup the cost of a previous eviction, adding: “Good luck in getting the money.”

However local MP Graham Stuart Graham said the camp had gone “way beyond the reasonable limits of protest” and he was “delighted” it was being taken down.

Controversy has surrounded exploration firm Rathlin Energy since protestors arrived at two sites it drilled in 2013 at Crawberry Hill and West Newton. However the firm has not carried out either of the “mini-fall off tests” it was planning and insists hydraulic fracking “do not form any part of plans now or in the future.”

East Riding Council said it had previously offered a verge on which they could carry on their protest, but in person only. Humberside Police said three men, 28, 41, and 53, had been arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway. The third had also been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.