'˜I'm going to carry on beeping horn to show my support'
A Blackpool businessman has been left fuming after being blasted by police for sounding his horn at the Fylde fracking site.
Brian Morrison has made an official complaint saying that he was shouted at and threatened with arrest after beeping to support campaigners at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton.
Mr Morrison, 47, who runs networking group BizSocial Enterprises, said he regularly honks his horn as he drives past on his way to work in Preston.
But on Thursday last week he said a police woman ran out across the road as he was driving back to Blackpool and stopped his black Hyundai in the road.
He said: “I normally start beeping my horn as I pass the first banner asking for support and beep on and off as I pass the protesters through to the other end.
“But suddenly this police woman ran out into the road in front of me, she came right across the road, and stopped me.
“I braked hard and all the cars behind me had to stop suddenly too .
“She said to me, ‘Will you stop beeping your horn here every day? We are sick of it.’
“Then she said if I did not promise to not do it again she would get me out of the car and arrest me.
“I said I did not realise it was an offence and pointed out other people did it but she was angry.
“I said I would report her but I could not see her collar number. I was later told she was one of the police brought in from outside the area, from Cumbria.
“After I drove off I looked in the mirror and saw her give the thumbs up to the other police there and they were clapping her.”
Mr Morrison, who lives near Stanley Park , said he was so angry that he reported the incident at Blackpool police station.
He said it would not stop him showing support for the protesters at the site.
He said: “I am completely against fracking, I think it is a danger.
“This will not stop me and I will carry on beeping in support of the campaigners. I do it because I cannot go and stand with them at the site myself.
“I have mobility problems, I have had osteoarthritis since childhood and have had a series of hip operations.
“I think it was outrageous for a police officer to behave like that.”
Lancashire Police confirmed they had received a complaint.
A spokesman said: “We have received the complaint and are in the process of looking into it.” They added that a driver could be said to be committing an offence if they were “using a vehicle to cause unnecessary noise”. But they could not confirm that was the case in this incident since they had yet to get an account from the officer concerned. Nick Danby. from Frack Free Lancashire. said: “I am outside the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road on a regular basis and have been since work started in early January.
“In that time we have had a great deal of support from passing motorists and this support has steadily increased as the site has developed.
“We are regularly serenaded by a passing ice cream van, we regularly get a thumbs-up from a passing bus driver and other motorists are happy to toot their horns as they go past the site.
“It is clear to me that the majority of passing motorists fully appreciate why we are protesting and are happy to show their support for us.
“It is a shame that the police have tried to deter those supporters and have, on several occasions, followed drivers and warned them that they are causing a distraction. They have not been anywhere near as rigorous when vehicles have been clearly breaching the speed limits.”