STATEMENTS From Essex Police: “We were called at around 8pm yesterday (28 August) following reports of a group of people obstructing the road and an oil tanker.
“Our officers acted quickly to remove the group. The road was temporarily closed but re-opened around 3am this morning. Eight people were arrested on suspicion of offences including going equipped to cause criminal damage. They remain in custody”
Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin said “Following a busy week of protest activity, our priorities remain to keep Essex moving, keep people safe and minimise the disruption to the public.
“Two tunnels on Stoneness Road and St Clements Way remain occupied. The road at St Clements Way remains partially open, and Thurrock Council Highways Department are ensuring an overview of the road.
“We appreciate that this situation is incredibly frustrating for the public, but we ask drivers to check your journey before you travel in the West Thurrock area.
“We are continuing to engage with those involved in this week’s protests. The UK has seen many protests over the years, and protests which are peaceful and non-disruptive can be an effective way to provoke conversation around a specific issue or topic.
“We take the concerns of this particular protest group its members and supporters seriously and willing to work with you so that your rights to peaceful protest can take place without members breaking the law.
“I would therefore like to extend my personal invitation to these protestors to start a conversation between us, where we can together find a balance that will allow your members to exercise their rights to protest effectively, whilst also doing so within the boundaries of the law. The current action is dangerous and putting lives at risk. We encourage those involved to re-evaluate the action they are taking.”
Friday 26 August
Officers working to tackle the disruption in Thurrock this week have secured charges against eight people arrested yesterday (Thursday 25 August).
Following intelligence received, officers attended an address in Rainham and proactively arrested eight people and seized climbing equipment.
All eight arrested have now be charged with conspiracy to commit a public nuisance and are due to appear at Southend Magistrates’ Court today (Friday 26 August).
• Morgan Trowland, 39 of Barry Blandford Way, London E3
• Isabel Rock, 40, of Red Post Hill, London SE24
• Nicole Beholz, 39, of Institute Place, London E8
• Craig Exley, 34, of Ardleigh, Basildon
• Elizabeth Garrat Wright, 35, Stansfield Road, Todmorden
• Gwen Harrison, 45, of Spital View, Kendal
• Paul Sheeky, 47, of Wellfield Street, Warrington
• Emma Smart, 45, of Rodwell Street, Weymouth
In total, we have arrested 48 people this week in connection with the disruption.
Five of these people were also found to have breached an existing junction upon them and were presented at court yesterday.
Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin said:
“We have worked hard to keep Essex moving and keep disruption to a minimum.
“A significant number of resources with more than 100 officers and staff involved – officers and staff who could have been in our communities, responding to emergencies, helping people, and tackling crime.
“We are not anti-protest, but anyone intent on causing disruption and putting themselves and the safety of others at risk will not be tolerated.”
We are still working with partners to safely resolve situations in St Clements Way and Stonness Road where four people are still in two tunnels.
ACC Pavelin added:
“We’re working with Thurrock Council and the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the safety all those involved while ensuring minimal disruption for the businesses and organisations who need to use the roads involved.
“The people who have dug themselves into the tunnels are welcome to come out at any time.”
Thursday 25 August
Further arrests have been made following proactive work to contain disruption in Thurrock this week.
Following intelligence we received, our officers carried out a warrant at an address in Rainham last night (24 August).
Items seized during the warrants included climbing equipment and eight people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance. They remain in custody.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper said:
“These further arrests demonstrate our commitment to keeping our residents safe, keeping Essex moving, and tackling disruption.
“Those arrested in this warrant had travelled from as far as Cheshire and Dorset.
“To reiterate what we have said already, we respect the public’s rights to peacefully protest, but sadly this is not what we have been seeing this week.
“These incidents have been extensively resourced with more than a hundred officers and staff assigned to the operational response at this point.
“These officers could have been in the communities of Essex responding to emergencies, helping Essex residents, and tackling crime.”
We are continuing to work to safely resolve the ongoing disruption in St Clements Way where two people remain in a tunnel.
One person, a woman, has left the tunnel and has been arrested.
Chief Supt Hooper added:
“People have a right to have their say but they don’t need to sit in a hole, using up public money from the people of Essex in order to do that”
Yesterday, we arrested 11 people at a service station in Grays on suspicion of criminal damage.
Five of these people were also found to have breached an existing junction upon them and will therefore be presented in court today.