Fracking at Kirby Misperton

Frequently asked questions and policing updates

Policing and financial updates

The additional costs of the policing operation have amounted to:

  • £80,238 up to 31 August 2017
  • £101,476 in September 2017
  • £233,704 in October 2017
  • £147,881 in November 2017
  • £58,488 in December 2017
  • £48,101 in January 2018
  • £30,772 in February 2018

The public accountability meeting hears regular updates on policing at Kirby Misperton, including costs.

This meeting also provides an opportunity for people to ask their questions about policing activity.

Use the links below to find out more and watch, Policing update – Kirby Misperton:

Who decides about fracking in North Yorkshire?

The go-ahead to carry out hydraulic fracturing at Kirby Misperton has been given via a series of decisions at central and local government. The Police and Crime Commissioner and North Yorkshire Police are completely impartial with regards to the ongoing debate in relation to hydraulic fracturing.

The police have a legal obligation to facilitate fundamental human rights by supporting and protecting those engaging in a peaceful protest, whilst at the same time, balancing the rights of other parties to go about their lawful business.

If you have concerns or complaints about fracking in principle, not on the policing of the site itself, these concerns can be raised with your MP.

The MP for Thirsk and Malton is Kevin Hollinrake, his office can be contacted by calling 01347 666 880, sending a letter to 9 Hanover House, Market Place, Easingwold, York YO61 3AD, or emailing kevin.hollinrake.mp@parliament.uk.

Please note, if you are not a resident of the constituency of Thirsk and Malton, you will need to contact your own, local MP.

How will this affect policing in the rest of North Yorkshire?

Operation Kingfisher is likely to have some impact on policing across North Yorkshire, as officers are drawn from across the county. Notwithstanding, the force aims to maintain ‘business as usual’ and as well as having a ‘gold’ commander for the fracking operation itself, a second Chief Officer has been given responsibility for ensuring the wider service is maintained as far as possible. In addition, should it be required, North Yorkshire can also draw on the support of neighbouring police forces in the form of ‘mutual aid’.

The Commissioner is assured that the force is doing everything possible to best manage the operation, but will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Please note, the Chief Constable is responsible for operational decisions, to find out more about how the police are approaching the management of the site in Kirby Misperton, please visit North Yorkshire Police’s website

How are police engaging with the various groups involved?

Local neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs will continue to be active in the Kirby Misperton community, discussing their role and addressing any concerns.

The police have to respect and facilitate the public’s right to protest but also to allow people and companies to go about their lawful business, therefore, maintaining a positive relationship with protesters remains a key priority for the police.

Ultimately the police need to keep the residents, visitors and businesses in North Yorkshire safe and ensure actions are lawful, which is what they will seek to do.

How will the police balance the rights to peacefully protest and the right to go about lawful business?

North Yorkshire police officers have to remain neutral, and they are neither there for the company nor the protesters; they are there to protect the public as a whole.

In doing their job, the police have a legal obligation to facilitate fundamental human rights by supporting and protecting those engaging in a peaceful protest whilst balancing the rights of other parties to go about their lawful business.

From a police perspective, Operation Kingfisher is a public safety operation. Where people break the law, go beyond lawful and agreed protests and put people’s safety at risk, the police are duty bound to intervene.

Who is paying for the policing of the protest?

Policing is paid for through local taxation via the council tax precept and national taxation.

There may be suggestions that Third Energy should contribute to the cost of policing the site, but the Commissioner does not see this as a realistic option. Payment from Third Energy would immediately create a potential conflict of interest for the police, and it would be the same if the police took a levy from the protesters to cover the cost of policing their right to protest.

However, should the costs of the operation increase to over one percent of the total policing budget in North Yorkshire, the government runs a scheme to assist local forces, to which the Commissioner can apply.

How can I complain about the conduct of an officer?

Officers are working under intense pressure and scrutiny. There is specific training and briefing in place to ensure officers balance the right to peaceful protest and the right to lawful business.

The force’s aim is to provide a consistent, co-ordinated policing response to any protest activity, fulfilling their core responsibilities and conducting themselves in a manner compatible with the values of North Yorkshire Police and the Code of Ethics.

If you want to complain about the conduct of an officer, you can do so here or by calling 101.

Complaints against Police Officers, Police Staff or Special Constables are all dealt with by North Yorkshire Police’s professional standards department (PSD).

As Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia is only able to hold the Chief Constable to account regarding complaints made specifically about him.

What should I do if I am not happy about police tactics on the site?

A Silver Commander is designated on a daily basis to oversee the policing operation at the Kirby Misperton site. The Silver Commander will carefully balance the rights of all parties when making decisions around tactical options, and these decisions will be kept under regular review.

The Chief Constable is responsible for operational decisions, to find out more about how the police are approaching the management of the site in Kirby Misperton, please visit North Yorkshire Police’s website

If you have a complaint about specific tactics being used, please raise these with North Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department by calling 101 or by filling out a complaints form which can be found at https://northyorkshire.police.uk/contact/complain-to-us/

Will you be using mutual aid?

Should the site at Kirby Misperton require an increased police presence that would affect ‘business as usual’ then this option would be considered.

Mutual aid can be described as the provision of policing assistance from one force to another. It is a formal arrangement and is similar to the provision of Special Police Services. As such, mutual aid is usually provided in response to or in anticipation of a major incident or event.  Often then host police force pays the costs of the addition support sent from the other force.

Read the news story: North Yorkshire Police uses mutual aid at Kirby Misperton

How do I submit a Freedom of Information request?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives individuals the right of access to recorded information, subject to a range of exemptions. We follow the processes and guidelines laid out in the Authorised Professional Practice when responding to FOI requests.

To make a Freedom of Information request, email CivilDisclosure@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or sent the request via post to Civil Disclosure Unit, North Yorkshire Police, Alverton Court, Crosby Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1AA.

Requests must; be made in writing, clearly describe the information being sought, contain the name of the applicant and include a return postal or email address.

Questions raised at the Public Accountability Meeting

From 24 October 2017 a regular agenda item, Policing update – Kirby Misperton will be included at the monthly Public Accountability Meeting which is broadcast live.

The Public Accountability Meeting invites questions from the public which are relevant to the meeting.