Police claim 'protestors' at Barton Moss intimidating locals and officers

Greater Manchester Police says the total number of protesters arrested at Barton Moss anti-fracking camp has risen to 82, a is rising with each day of deliveries.

The force says 62 of these are from outside the Greater Manchester area, with many from the South of England and that some protestors have been previously arrested at either Barton Moss or other protest sites.

GMP also say protestors are jumping onto moving lorries, spitting at and abusing officers and intimidating local residents.

Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts said:

"At the start of this protest the majority of protesters were peaceful and law abiding but over the past couple of weeks local residents and officers have seen a distinct change to this. It now seems that the majority of people who are arriving at the site are not there to protest against fracking but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police. We have seen offences of assaults, damage, harassment of residents and workers, a flare fired at the police helicopter and threats to kill.

“I attended a residents’ meeting last week and people there were close to tears and have had enough of this daily disruption to their lives. Locals, who initially supported the protesters, out walking their dogs and driving down Barton Moss Road have been approached by protesters in balaclavas and have been questioned by them which has been extremely intimidating. We have seen a huge increase in the calls to police from that area and this is continuing.

“Officers are verbally abused on a daily basis, one has even been spat at and another officer required stitches to his hand after trying to get a protester down from a fence. The police are there to do a job and that job is to facilitate peaceful protest and to balance the needs of all parties, the residents who live there, businesses who operate from there and the protesters themselves."