I have had a number of emails about yesterday's protest and the police response. I have attached the police's statement below.
Rather than try to cover everything in a post I thought it would be helpful to do a Facebook Live and try to answer any questions in the comments.
I wasn't present yesterday. If you were, and would like to complain, the Independent Office for Police Conduct's website has a very clear page explaining the process.
You can make a complaint if you:
experienced inappropriate behaviour from a police ofﬁcer, staff member, contractor or volunteer. For instance, if you felt they were rude or aggressive to you
witnessed a police officer, staff member, contractor or volunteer acting inappropriately
have been adversely affected by the conduct of a police officer, staff member, contractor or volunteer, even if it did not take place in relation to you
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Green, of Staffordshire Police, said: “The overall aim of the operation is to manage protests at Walleys Quarry, balancing the rights of individuals to protest against the rights of those whose activities are impacted upon by the protests, which includes businesses, other members of the public in the area and those who hold opposing views.
“Often the rights of these different groups can come into conflict, and as police officers, we have to judge where that balance lies. Officers had open conversations with organisers before the planned protest on 25 August 2021 and they indicated at least 200 protestors would be present.
“During the day, police officers kept the situation under review and judged how to strike the balance accordingly, as circumstances changed. Organisers had indicated they would be causing a blockade at various times during day. However, the exact details of the blockade were not shared directly with officers.
“Some of those present chose to block access to Walleys Quarry and officers continued to engage with all of those present – including protecting the rights of the protestors, ensuring they were kept safe. After a period of over two hours, officers requested that protestors continued their protest from the side of the carriageway which would allow for the protest to continue alongside the business then being able to operate – again balancing the rights of all parties. Despite requests from officers to not block the entrance, a 41-year old man from Newcastle was arrested and has been charged with obstructing the highway. The man was asked to move numerous times but refused to do so.”