York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire fracking protesters 'not terrorist threat'

Anti-fracking rally in York
Image caption More than 1,000 people attended an anti-fracking a demonstration in York in July

Anti-fracking protesters "‎are not seen as a terrorist threat", North Yorkshire Police has said.

The force's statement came after City of York Council named campaigners on a list of "key risks to York" alongside Islamic terrorists and right-wing activists.

Local anti-fracking campaigners said they were "shocked" to be included.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver said the police statement had been issued to "avoid any doubt".

She said: "The groups of local protesters have been nothing but peaceful and respectful of the law.

"Not one arrest has been made in connection with protest action associated with the issue in our area.

'Community tension'

"We will continue to liaise with all groups involved in the issue to ensure people's right for lawful protest, maximizing the safety of all concerned while minimising disruption to the wider community."

The council said the list was drawn up as part of the government's Prevent strategy, a counter-radicalisation programme which aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Jane Mowat, head of community safety at City of York Council, said: "As part of the wider Prevent agenda, all local authorities are required to identify any area of activity or campaigning where extreme actions may be identified as a risk to the wider community or may pose a threat to individuals or organisations covering a wide range of interests.

"Most organised protest groups - including the majority of anti-fracking campaigners - have been peaceful in their right to protest. However, since 2010, local authorities monitor any activities where there is potential for community tension."

In May, North Yorkshire County Council granted permission to Third Energy to extract shale gas in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

The following month an anti-fracking demonstration in York was attended by more than 1,000 people.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites