Over 200 eco protesters arrested during weekend of demonstrations

3 April 2022, 17:15

More than 200 protesters have been arrested during a weekend of demonstrations
More than 200 protesters have been arrested during a weekend of demonstrations. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

More than 200 people have been arrested as climate change activists enter a third day of protests at oil terminals.

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Warwickshire Police said the force has made 54 arrests for offences including criminal damage, obstructing the highway and public order in relation to the ongoing protest at Kingsbury Oil Terminal.

In Essex, officers have arrested a total of 155 people following protests in the Thurrock district.

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Activists from Just Stop Oil have been blocking access to oil terminals over the last three days, demanding that the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

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Warwickshire Police said on Sunday that a "significant operation remains ongoing" at Kingsbury, with officers working to bring the situation to a resolution "as soon as possible".

Assistant Chief Constable Ben Smith, who is leading the operation, said: "We fully acknowledge every person's right to engage in lawful protest; however, when that protest becomes unlawful and disproportionate in nature, we will act to protect the rights of others.

"Due to the nature and scale of the policing operation, a large number of officers have been deployed over the last two days.

"Although policing services have been effectively maintained across the rest of the county, I am hopeful the situation can be brought to a swift conclusion so my officers can return to protecting the communities of Warwickshire."

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Essex Police said 63 arrests were made on Friday, 57 on Saturday and a further 35 on Sunday, for a variety of offences.

Activists from Just Stop Oil said on Saturday that they had blocked access to the Titan Truck Park and revealed a secret underground network of tunnels at the Navigator and Grays oil terminals.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan said: "The operational and logistical challenges my officers have faced in the last 48 hours have been exceptional.

"We continue to work today with our key partners to bring these protests to a swift and safe conclusion, and to minimise community impact.

"A priority has been to reopen the sites disrupted by these protests, and I am pleased with the progress we are making.

"I want to once again be clear: policing is not anti-protest, but we must intervene where there is a risk to life or where laws are being broken, and we will do so."

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Arrests have been made elsewhere too in recent days.

The Metropolitan Police arrested 14 activists who broke into a facility at Bedfont Road in Staines, Surrey, and West Midlands Police arrested six people at a terminal in Tyburn, Birmingham.

Hampshire Police said a number of protests took place on Friday at Hythe Terminal in New Road in Hythe and at BP in Hamble Lane and Copse Lane, and officers made four arrests.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass while two others were held on suspicion of aggravated trespass and failing to comply with conditions.

The force said on Saturday that all protesters have since left the area and the active police presence across both sites has been stood down.