Thursday, 5 June 2014

Lawyer: anti-fracking policing could be unlawful

Statement from Simon Pook of Robert Lizar Solicitors below which is the PRESS RELEASE given to Hull Local Media in particular Hull Daily Mail and Yorkshire Post.

"I am extremely concerned that Humberside Police appear to have acted outside of their lawful duty in the manner they 'kettled' my clients for over two hours.
I am of the view having watched the footage the right to protest was not balanced in a proportionate way manner to allow compliance with the European Convention Of Human Rights. Lord Mance drew attention in R (Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary [2006]. Containment is only permitted where a breach of the peace is taking place or is reasonably thought to be imminent. It is clear, therefore, that containment is not permissible for some purpose other than to prevent a breach of the peace which is taking place or reasonably thought to be imminent. It is my view having considered the video this test was not met and brings into question the lawfulness of the policing used today.

I am particularly concerned that Inspector Holmes refused my request to allow a disabled woman to use a toilet some 30 feet behind the police lines .As a result of the police actions and complete refusal to allow the disabled woman to use the toilets, she was taken by ambulance to Hull Infirmary.

I will be compiling a dossier on the actions of Humberside Policing of the protest at Crawberry Hill and other proposed sites in Humberside. This dossier will be sent to Maina Kiai, the United Nation's Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Simon Pook
Human and Civil Rights Solicitor.
Robert Lizar Solicitor


  1. Having been at Crawberry Hill Camp in my role as photographer. I can bear witness to the out of proportion way police handled this situation. 20 plus police (with reserves) to handle a half dozen protestors. Bit like using a sledgehammer to crack an egg.

    Refusing the people the basic use of a toilet facility that was mere metres away from the camp purely to allow the lorries access to a drilling site is non-sensical.

    There was no compassion or common sense used when one of the protestors became ill with a serious kidney complaint. All they had to do was let the protestor use the toilet. But whom ever was in charge decided NOT to let them use the toilet and thus the protestor had to be hospitalised.

    Any positive community relations and good will between the camp and humberside police that has been built up will have been damaged, maybe irreparably.

    Humberside police in my opinion have shot themselves powerfully in the foot.

  2. I agree, Martin. They could have enabled protest. They acted unlawfully by causing distress unnecessarily to someone whose condition they weren't prepared to accept people's word for. Wrongly. They are choosing to see protesters as the problem, choosing to treat them suspiciously, and choosing the side of industry uncritically. Not their job.