Footage has emerged showing a HS2 worker allegedly kneeling on a protester's neck.
It happened after the activist allegedly launched carrots over the work site fence near Fradley Wood in Lichfield. A HS2 spokesman said that in recent weeks HS2 has been "excessively targeted by political activists."
They said trespassers on construction sites are endangering themselves, HS2 workers and the general public- placing unnecessary strain on the emergency services during the pandemic.They added: "HS2 has been approved by democratically elected MPs on multiple occasions and the project is playing a pivotal role in helping Britain’s economic recovery.""There are 13,000 people already working on the project and we recently announced a further 22,000 jobs across the country at a time when it needs them most."
Officers were called to where the HS2 line is being built at Fradley Wood on Sunday (November 15) while workers were clearing a wooded area.
Police have confirmed they arrested a protester on suspicion of assault and possessing an offensive weapon and say they are now investigating the allegations against the HS2 workers.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant says he's written to police, ministers and HS2 after "several constituents" reported the alleged "excessive use of force".The MP passed on claims that the protester was thrown to the ground and kicked by "a number" of HS2 workers before being restrained "with a knee on his neck for at least four minutes".
Speaking based on what he claimed to be reports from his constituents, Mr Fabricant said: "A lone protester had, unwisely, fired some carrots using a catapult over the HS2 fence from the other side of the road."The man was thrown to the ground by a number of HS2 security people, kicked, and held down with a knee on his neck for at least four minutes, someone timed it."During this time a number of passing motorists stopped to protest, but it was not until the police arrived that he was able to get up."My views on HS2 and the destruction of ancient woodlands are well known."Despite my voting against the legislation in Parliament, HS2 was authorised with an overwhelming majority."However, the law does not permit using excessive force by HS2 against protesters."I was not a witness to the event, so I cannot judge whether excessive force was used or, indeed, whether any force was necessary at all."But several constituents have contacted me about this event and I take their concern seriously."Lawful protest against HS2 is permitted. Heavy handed tactics by HS2 are not."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "We were called to an incident at around 11.30am on Sunday, November 15 following reports a man had fired pellets at staff working at a site in Fradley."Officers attended the location and a 50-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested on suspicion of assault and possessing an offensive weapon. He has since received a conditional caution."Following the incident, we have been made aware of complaints about how the man was restrained by security staff at the location and we are investigating.