From: Natalie Bennett, Former Green Party leader, Sheffield.
IN “Under-strain force faces fracking cost” (The Yorkshire Post, November 17), you report South Yorkshire Police has a £1m contingency fund for policing sites where this highly unpopular practice is threatened. And that it can apply to Westminster to cover some of the costs.
Of course Westminster could prevent any of these costs, and the stress and disruption forced on communities by fracking operations, by banning the practice in England.
It has already been blocked in Wales and Scotland.
It is good that Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, is acknowledging the need for any action by his force to ensure both the right to protest and the right to do business “are equally honoured”.
We can only hope that if we do get to these straits, against the will of local democratic decisions, that South Yorkshire Police manage the situation better than they did in the Sheffield tree protests. And that they make a better job than the Nottinghamshire force is currently managing at Tinker Lane, where I found on a visit last week that local villagers have been horrified by the actions of police there against older residents exercising their right to peaceful protest.