Sussex Police review their response to Balcombe protests

Sussex Police has published an independent review of its response to the exploratory drilling and protests at Balcombe.

Live updates

Sussex Police review their response to Balcombe protests

Sussex Police has published an independent review of its response to the exploratory drilling and protests at Balcombe. The document highlighted good practice, but also make recommendations to help the force deal with any protests in the future.

More than a thousand protesters were at the site at its height with 126 arrests made.

The initial policing response appeared slow as the intelligence and information at that time indicated that any protests could be managed locally by the division. It was in the last days of July that we became aware of the size and complexity of the situation and it was at that point that it became a force level operation. In Sussex it is normal practice for us to appoint an ACPO officer for a force level operation. They provided an oversight for this dynamic operation and acted as a conduit between the force and the PCC."

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry

We made the best use of our resources, including Special Constables and volunteers, to support divisions. Rest days were cancelled and re-rostered to meet the demand over the summer period, and pre-arranged leave was managed. The logistical support and planning was a challenge above and beyond our recent experience and the impact on all of our staff was recognised early on. We worked with the Police Federation and Unison to mitigate those risks."

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry

In relation to workloads supervisors on a daily basis monitored and assessed staff commitments and where necessary reallocated tasks. The recommendations and good practice mentioned in the review have been acknowledged and the future policing approach to these types of incidents has incorporated much of the learning."

– Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry
Back to top