Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has written to Chief Constable Giles York of Sussex Police urging the force to investigate ‘harassment’ claims made by various anti-drilling campaigners.
In November, Keith visited constituents at the peaceful anti-drilling protection camp in Leith Hill, Dorking before meeting with the Keep Billingshurst Frack Free campaign group. During the meetings, and in subsequent correspondence, campaigners reported escalating levels of ‘stalking’ and ‘harassment’ by individuals they allege to be shareholders of the drilling company, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG).
Campaigners at Horse Hill, Markwells Wood, and Leith Hill have also reported being the targets of abusive comments on internet forums and stalking on Facebook.
In a ‘bundle of evidence’ seen by the Green Party politician, there appeared a screenshot in which an unnamed netizen claimed: “I have registered on the food rosta [sic] at Holmwood as Brenda at the vicarage and I’m going to cook [the campaigners] a vegan casserole with deadly nightshade berries.”
Campaigners claim Sussex Police refused to investigate the threat.
“I am urging Chief Constable York to fully investigate the reports of abuse and harassment against local residents protesting against environmentally destructive drilling in Billingshurst.”
“Nobody should have to suffer abuse or harassment and those exercising their right to protest against oil drilling in their communities should be offered the same level of legal protection as anybody else.”
“The evidence I have seen is concerning, and, at least in one instance, is tantamount to a death threat; I am calling on Sussex Police to revise its decision not investigate these claims further.”
“As a Green MEP, I will continue to stand up for for my constituents.”