Police arrest 100 at climate camp

A A A

Police arrested 100 protesters and charged 46 of them during a week-long protest against climate change, it was revealed today.

Speaking at a press conference this morning Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge said the majority of arrests at the Camp for Climate Action were for obstruction and public order offences.



But he said that there were also a number of people at the camp in fields close to Kingsnorth power station near Hoo, Kent, who were arrested for more serious offences such as assaulting police officers and possessing bladed instruments.



He said that while the majority of protesters were peaceful and law abiding, a number of people were "intent on causing trouble."



He said: "While there were those involved in the protest who were sensible and responsible, there were also those clearly intent on breaking into the power station to shut it down."



Four people were arrested after they managed to get inside the power station during a mass day of action on Saturday, and a further 19 climbed over the perimeter fence but a spokesman for E.ON, which owns the plant, said the protesters had not affected its power output.



Mr Beautridge denied claims from protesters of heavy-handedness among some of the 1,400 police officers from 26 forces who were deployed to the camp over the past week.



"Our policy was that policing was proportionate to this threat" he said.



"The decision to deploy specialist units including dogs and horses is always considered carefully. Because of the level of resistance, officers were authorised to carry batons during two days of the protest.



"There are strict legal standards for their use and we gave clear warnings when any specialist team was deployed, which is our policy. Those intent on breaking the law had the choice and opportunity to stop."



But a spokesman for the Climate Camp said that there had been "widespread condemnation" of tactics used by police during the event.



Kevin Smith said: "Our legal team are going to be exhausting every possible channel for holding the police accountable for the draconian use of stop and search measures, for the things they confiscated, and for their violent incursions on to the camp.



"Every year police use the supposed existence of a hardcore minority as justification for their heavy-handedness and every year this hardcore minority fails to materialise."



He added that while the majority of protesters left yesterday, at least 100 protesters have remained on site today to clear up after the 3,000 people that they estimate to have visited it at some point over the last week.



Mr Smith said: "They are very happily getting on with the business of returning the field to the state in which they found it."



Mr Beautridge added that Kent Police will investigate any complaints about the policing of the event.



He said: "If we find evidence that anyone has acted inappropriately or failed to demonstrate the standards we set and expect, Kent Police and partner police forces will address this."



Kent Police and the Kent Police Authority will be contacting the Home Office to discuss a rebate towards the cost of policing the protest, which is estimated to currently stand at several million pounds, he said.



Of the 100 people arrested since last Sunday, 46 were charged, 22 were cautioned, three people were bound over to keep the peace and one person was found to be in breach of their bail, police said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence