Facilitation takes some strange forms
It is inarguable that Lancashire Constabulary are going above and beyond the call of duty in facilitating Cuadrilla’s operations, but some of the things we hear are quite frankly bizarre.
This story was sent to us by a motorcyclist who had some unexpected (by him at least) interaction with the boys in blue this week.
“Earlier today (21/04/2017), I was ‘trapped’ / ‘coralled’ (on my Honda Crosstourer bike) by a ‘fleet’ of police cars.
I was travelling along Fleetwood Rd, towards the M55, with 2 motorway police cars a little further ahead.
One pulled into a private road on the left (to get behind me), the other carried on to the roundabout (Wesham Cir it’s called).
When I got to the roundabout he blocked the entrance, and I was sat directly in front of him for about 5 minutes – waiting.
(He was holding me (and all other traffic) up, I assume so that he could ensure that more backup got there).
He then pulled onto the roundabout and through, off onto Fleetwood Rd (so they had the road behind me ‘blocked’ and the only other exit road ‘blocked’). This ensured that if I was avoiding them, my only route was the motorway; I took the M55 slip-road.
I noticed a police car join about a 1/4 mile behind me, steam up the outside lane, then pull in behind me (reading my plate).
At this point, I noticed 2 other police cars coming up behind him.
He over-took me, pulled in front of me and displayed a message saying “FOLLOW ME”, the other police cars sat close behind.
He pulled over onto the hard-shoulder (and I followed, with the trailing police cars pulling in behind me).
They all got out of their cars, and the lead Police officer came to me.
Long & short of it: he told me that someone on a BMW GS motorcycle (resembling my bike) had been ‘tailing’ Cuadrilla lorry drivers, and they were just checking that it wasn’t me.
I told the officer that I supported what you guys are doing, but, they could see that my bike was not a BMW GS.
(How they think that it is illegal to ‘tail’ lorry drivers anyway – I have no idea).
What they did with me was complete over-kill – at one point, they had me stopped within 5 feet of a police car at the roundabout! Why didn’t he just get out of his car and walk up to me?
Why did they intentionally try to get me onto a motorway, where I can do 130 mph to avoid them?
How many people did they inconvenience stopping all traffic?
It was like some kind of ‘SWAT’ operation!
The officer himself was courteous / polite, but, they had no reason whatsoever for this stop. (They knew my bike type – they had me stopped in front of them for 5 minutes).
This is obviously official procedure; it was too ‘organised’, and what annoys me most is that I get a feeling that it was either:
a) a ‘practice’ session or
b) an attempt to get a threatening ‘warning’ to the BMW GS owner, and this, regardless of the inconvenience caused to unrelated people.
I fully support what you guys are doing, and, this kind of treatment makes me think: ‘should I be doing more than just ‘supporting’?’.
I’d like to know how much Cuadrilla are paying the police to cover the cost of this tax-paid police ‘operation’, and I will be writing to the Chief Constable to ask that question.”
We will update here with any response that is received.