Anti-fracking protests in Greater Manchester have cost taxpayers a staggering £330,000 so far and is rising.
The figure was released by Greater Manchester Police as protests against IGas’ attempt to drill for shale gas in Barton Moss continue.
Two women blocked the fracking site this morning to prevent the energy company’s trucks from going into the site. Mandy Roundhouse, one of the campaigners told ELN they immobilised a vehicle and locked themselves to it following which they were arrested.
A total of 42 arrests have been made so far.
An anti-fracking campaigner at the nearby protest camp said: “There is a strong, sustainable and swelling campaign against this industry. We have a thorough analysis of both the industry itself and the political context around it, we will be hitting hard at its weak spots.”
Police are also executing a search warrant on Barton Moss Road following an incident on Saturday in which a flare was fired at a police helicopter. The force described it as an “unbelievably stupid act of criminality which was extremely dangerous” and could have been “catastrophic”.
Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts added: “An attack on the police of this nature has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not exploratory drilling is right or wrong. Whilst I recognise the genuine concerns of many of the protesters in relation to exploratory drilling, it is obvious that there is also an element of regular protesters from outside the Greater Manchester area who seem more interested in seeking confrontation with the police.”
In response to the protest, an IGas spokesperson said: “We recognise the right to peaceful protest, however we do not condone any illegal activity or anything that impacts the right of local residents to go about their daily lives and work… We have received all the necessary permissions to drill a vertical exploration well to take and analyse rock samples and remain confident we will complete our programme as planned.”