North Yorkshire Police

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FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

Response to anti-fracking protestors being labelled a terrorist threat under Prevent policy

Four days after a Spinwatch report revealed how anti-fracking protestors had been labelled as 'domestic extremists' under the City of York Council and Merseyside Police's Prevent recently updated policies, North Yorkshire Police's acting assistant chief constable Amanda Oliver released a statement:

To avoid any doubt, anti-fracking protesters ‎are not seen as a terrorist threat by the police in North Yorkshire.
On the contrary, 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.
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. [1]

Further investigation reveals collaboration between NYP and councils on labelling anti-fracking protestors as extremists

A further investigation by Spinwatch revealed that the North Yorkshire Police force had worked in collaboration with Hambleton District Council and Richmondshire District Council to link anti-fracking campaigners to domestic extremism.[2]

Richmondshire council's Prevent strategy launch event video discusses 'extreme anti-frackers'

In July 2015 Richmondshire District Council hosted an event to explain its ‘Prevent’ strategy to its scrutiny committee. The council’s community safety officer, Gina Allen, delivered the presentation, assisted by North Yorkshire Police.[2] Seated beside two police staff, Allen discussed the 'terrorism threats' facing the district:

'A reasonably new one is around the fracking agenda, extreme anti-frackers, causing as much disruption as they possibly can is a potential threat going forward'. [3]

The ‘counter terrorism local profile questionnaire 2016’

In January 2016, both Hambleton District Council and Richmondshire District Council along with North Yorkshire Police distributed a questionnaire that mentioned anti fracking protestors as potential extremist risks alongside the ‘extreme right wing’ and ‘issues relating to Syria and Iraq’.

Operation Kingfisher

Operation Kingfisher is the code name given to the fracking related activities carried out by the North Yorkshire Police. The operation appears to have begun before the summer of 2014. According to a NYP 'policing report' dated 16 December 2016, written by Ryedale & Whitby Police Inspector Andy Everitt and addressed to Ryedale area committee members, it initially focused on the activities of Tesla. This switched after the announcement by Third Energy of its intention to apply for planning permission. Everitt explained that:

Since this announcement comprehensive contingency planning is now taking place to cover all eventualities. At a more local level I have assigned the four members of the Pickering Community Policing team to take ownership of Kirby Misperton and to provide additional support. I am shortly to meet with my counterpart in Humberside police who has responsibility for Crawberry Hill and I will then be writing a Community Impact Assessment which will form a key part of our contingency planning. It is the intention of North Yorkshire Police to allow people to express their views on this issue and we will of course uphold the rights of all persons to protest provided they remain inside the law. [4]

In February 2015 of NYP referred to Kingfisher after a local Ryedale council meeting on Third Energy's fracking plans, explaining that police were drawing up plans to cover possible protests. The Gazette & Herald newspaper reported that:

Insp Everitt said a team of officers was developing an action plan, following the announcement by the firm that it intended to apply for planning permission to hydraulically fracture one of its well sites in Kirby Misperton.
Insp Everitt, who attended last Wednesday’s meeting at the Milton Rooms in Malton, said: “As part of Operation Kingfisher, we are able to support the community as the fracking debate continues and are fully employed at a local level to act accordingly to all developments. I am impressed by the levels of the debate and the openness and engagement from all organisations.”


  1. North Yorkshire Police response to concerns raised by anti-fracking, press release, Last modified 6 December, 2016, 2.33pm
  2. 2.0 2.1 Russell Scott and Melissa Jones, Update: more documents show police, councils and schools labelling anti-fracking protestors as extremists, Spinwatch, 09 December 2016, accessed 12 December 2016.
  3. richmondnoticeboard: Radicalisation. Richmondshire council's Prevent strategy launch event video, richmondnoticeboard, July 20 2015, accessed 12 December 2016.
  4. Memo to Ryedale Area Committee Members on North Yorkshire Police Report, from Inspector Andy Everitt, Ryedale & Whitby Police Inspector 16 December 2014, accessed 22 June 2017