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Half of Balcombe cases dropped

Almost half of the protesters facing court action after the anti-fracking protests in Sussex last year have had the charges against them dropped.

There were huge demonstrations at Balcombe when the energy company Cuadrilla was given a licence for test drilling for gas - or oil. Fracking was NOT carried out.

But many prosecutions have been abandoned for lack of evidence.

Today, protesters criticised the way police made arrests. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Crime Commissioner asks about Policing

Crime Commissioner, exports, Policing
Kent's Chief Constable and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes Credit: ITV Meridian

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner has written an open letter to the the Force's Chief Constable seeking reassurance about how protests against live animal exports are policed.

Ann Barnes says the letter system will be used on issues which have a high degree of public interest.

Protests, exports, Ramsgate
Protests at Ramsgate against live animal exports Credit: ITV Meridian

It follows several protests at the port of Ramsgate after live animals were allowed to be transported through there last year.

Ann Barnes says the letter does n't imply any wrong doing by Kent Police and she is taking the action on the basis of significant public interest.

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Union to stage protest over ferry worker wages

A protest will be held in Portsmouth later against working practices at Condor Ferries. The RMT Union says some workers from the Ukraine are paid £2.35 an hour. The union says that amounts to 'poverty wages'. However the ferry firm says it abides by employment law.

"Condor Ferries respects the right of RMT members to protest in a peaceful and nondisruptive manner.

"However, we do not agree with their point of view. Condor Ferries is a diligent and concerned employer and we take care that all our employees are trained to the highest standards, work in safe conditions and receive competitive wages.

"90% of our crew are from the EU and paid accordingly, however a small minority of crew who live aboard our conventional freight ferries are recruited from Ukraine - a highly regarded seafaring nation.

The rate of pay referred to only applies to 14 entry level crew members and we are concerned that the situation is being distorted for political reasons.

"The pay, terms and conditions for all employees meet or exceed all the requirements of international employment regulations and worker protection, and many crew members return to work year after year, in preference to other employment opportunities.

– Condor Ferries spokesperson

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