Shale Gas and Oil Exploration and Extraction

Fracking

This area of our website aims to explain Derbyshire Constabulary’s response to a protest associated with shale gas and oil exploration and extraction, more commonly known as fracking.

A protest camp, based at the site of deep drilling firm PR Marriott in Old Pit Lane, Danesmoor, has been open for many weeks now.

We recognise the concerns raised by this issue and will continue to work impartially with everyone involved.

Our intention is to maintain a consistent and coordinated policing response and ensure a balance between the rights of people to lawfully protest, together with the rights of the wider public, including local businesses, to go about their lawful activities. We aim to prevent, where possible, crime and disorder, but if it does occur we will provide an effective, lawful and proportionate response.

Frequently asked questions

How many arrests have been made as part of the police operation?

This lists the number of arrests and charges since the protest camp was first formed in June 2017.

Reason for arrest                            

June   2016

July   2017

August   2017                       

September
2017 

Aggravated trespass

0

14

0

 0

Failing to provide   details

0

6

0

 0

Criminal damage

0

1

0

 0

Assaulting a police   officer

0

1

0

 0

Obstructing the highway

0

3

0

 0

Public order

0

1

0

 0

Total   number of arrests

0

26

0

 0

Total   number of charges

0

14

0

 0

 

How many officers are working on the operation?

The number of officers deployed to the site varies depending on factors such as how large the protest is that day, or whether we have received any calls for service. Public safety is our main priority and we will ensure any protest activity is policed proportionately and with public safety in mind. When necessary, we can ask other police forces for support via mutual aid, if we feel we need more officers, or require those with specialist training or skills.

How much is the police operation costing.

It is difficult to calculate the true cost of the operation as we can’t determine lost opportunity costs, for example, where officers are taken away from duties in the community. Up until September 19, it has cost the force £138,109.38 to police the protest.

Who is paying for the policing operation?

Facilitating the right to peaceful protest, protecting the public and preventing crimes occurring are all the responsibility of the police. The funding for this operation is currently being met from existing budgets allocated to the chief constable by the Police and Crime Commissioner, with an option to seek further special grant from the Home Office if and when certain specified conditions are met. The overall police budget for Derbyshire is funded nationally by Home Office grant and locally through council tax precept.

Why doesn’t PR Marriott pay for its own security?

The company does have its own security staff but their role is the security of the site. It is the police's responsibility to maintain law and order and ensure public safety outside the site. This is why, if you pass the site, you will see police officers in the vicinity of the site but you will never see any performing security duties on the site itself. 

There have been suggestions that PR Marriott should contribute to the policing resources. Even if this were possible through a lawful mechanism, this would create a potential conflict of interest for the police. It would be the same if the police took a levy from the protestors to cover the cost of policing their right to protest. The constabulary and officers have to remain neutral; they are neither there for the company nor the protestors; they are there to protect the public as a whole.

How can I complain about an officer, or police tactics at the site?

If you think that a police officer or member of police staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, you have the right to make a complaint.

You can do this by visiting one of our enquiry offices at St Mary’s Wharf or Pear Tree Police Stations in Derby; at Silverlands, Buxton; or at Beetwell Street, Chesterfield.

You can also make a complaint by calling 101, emailing PSDA@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk or writing to Professional Standards Department, Police Headquarters, Butterley Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3RS.

Complaints about the overall policies or procedures of a police force are often referred to as ‘direction and control issues’. These can include complaints about the organisation of a police force or general policing standards in your local area. These complaints can be made by using our 'Dissatisfied with our Service' form.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.