Thurrock fuel protests enter second week

Mick Ferris

Officers have been working round the clock for the past week as they continue to deal with a number of protests in the Thurrock district.

Today marks one week since the beginning of the protests.

So far, police have made more than 300 arrests in connection with the protests. The protests have seen disruption to roads and oil refineries in Purfleet and West Thurrock, with protesters often gluing or locking themselves to tanker lorries.

Overnight, officers made two further arrests in the Thurrock district while, early this morning, a group of protesters arrived in London Road, Purfleet.

They have now arrested 63 people and the road has been re-opened.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet praised the commitment of officers involved in the operation for the last seven days and also paid tribute to the ongoing work of Thurrock Council, the East of England Ambulance Service and Essex County Fire and Rescue service.

Essex Police is working closely with the local fuel distribution companies and strongly encouraging them to reinforce their security plans at each site.

Dept Ch Const Prophet said: “This has put a real strain on the force. One of the things I’m focussed on is what more the fuel companies can do to protect their infrastructure, perhaps using private security.

“If those measures are put in place, policing can deal with these incidents quicker and further reduce the disruption being caused.

“We know the people of Essex would prefer officers to be able to focus on the job of stopping crime and arresting criminals and to be perfectly honest, so do I.

“To be clear, we are not in any way anti-protest; there is a right to protest but there is no right to commit crime.”

So far, policing the protests in Thurrock has cost Essex Police in excess of £1 million.


Mick Ferris

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