Outside police to join Fylde fracking patrols

Reclaim the Power protesters at Cuadrilla's offices in Bamber Bridge

Lancashire Police is calling in help from other forces as they step up their presence at a Fylde fracking site.

And MEP Keith Taylor has urged Sara Thornton, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, to issue guidelines to officers after claims of excessive force by security guards and police at the Preston New Road site and others in the UK.

Police were called yesterday to shale gas exploration group Cuadrilla’s headquarters in Bamber Bridge after Reclaim the Power protesters picketed outside the building.

Two other protesters climbed on top of a lorry to prevent deliveries at Preston New Road as part of a month of action by the campaign group as Cuadrilla’s main drilling rig is expected to arrive.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “A decision has been made to move to 24/7 coverage of policing the fracking site on Preston New Road for the coming days. This is due to increased protester activity at the site over the last week and is to ensure the safety of protesters, Cuadrilla staff and members of the public.

“Due to the need for extra resources, a number of other forces will be providing mutual aid in July and August.”

Claire Stephenson, from Frack Free Lancashire, said: “Keith Taylor MEP is right to demand an urgent intervention and review of the increasingly violent tactics that are being used towards peaceful anti-fracking protesters by both private security guards and the police at Preston New Road. Frontline campaigners have repeatedly been subject to violence and assaults since day one.”

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