Hundreds sign letter of support for Lancashire Police over fracking response

The letter praising the police response was addressed to the chief constable
The letter praising the police response was addressed to the chief constable
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More than 300 people have signed a letter praising the policing operation at the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire.

Brent Crossley, from Blackpool, visited Kirkham police station this week to hand in the letter, addressed to the chief constable.

The letter, signed by 351 people, thanked his officers for their work to keep the county safe.

It specifically mentioned the ongoing Lancashire Police operation at Preston New Road, where energy firm Cuadrilla plans to drill for shale gas.

This month has seen anti-fracking campaigners step up their protests at the site, with daily action taking place. Several arrests have been made in recent months.

Mr Crossley said: "Anyone that has driven past the site, or followed events in the local media, will be very well aware that national activists have shown scant regard for the law or the rights of people trying to use the A583 to get to work or school.

"All of this has diverted valuable police resources from more important duties and cost the decent, hard-working council taxpayers of Lancashire a lot of money.

"I knew I couldn't be the only resident appalled by the treatment police officers on the fracking front line have had to put up with - ordinary men and women that live amongst us in our communities when they're not in uniform - and decided to do something about it.

"The response has been amazing, and shows that the police are fully supported by the vast majority of law abiding people who, regardless of their views on fracking, just want these activists to stop willfully breaking the law and wasting everyone's time and money."

Meanwhile, protesters, who have previously alleged that their treatment at the site has at times been heavy-handed, have repeatedly insisted they have a legal right to protest - and will continue to do so.

Following the arrival of Cuadrilla's drilling rig at the site on Thursday, Frack Free Lancashire issued a statement saying: “It is abundantly clear that community protest has had a major impact on Cuadrilla's attempts at making progress at this site and it will continue to do so.

"As Cuadrilla's work on this site intensifies and its predicted impacts start to be felt, our protest will continue, as is our legal right.”

An investigation is currently underway into alleged an alleged breach of planning regulations when the drilling was delivered outside of the permitted hours.