Protesters arrested as oil tanker and road blocked

time:2023-06-02 16:52:20source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center5

Eight protesters were arrested after a road and an oil tanker were blocked.

Essex Police was called to St Clements Way in West Thurrock, Grays, at about 20:00 BST on Sunday.

One person climbed on top of the vehicle while others reportedly deflated its tyres. The road was closed but reopened at 03:00 on Monday.

Police said the protesters were arrested on suspicion of offences including going equipped to cause criminal damage, and were bailed.

Environmental campaign group Just Stop Oil said those involved were a number of "ordinary people" who had stopped the tanker in support of its cause.

The group wants the government to cut reliance on fossil fuel.

Last week, Just Stop Oil said activists had dug tunnels underneath the carriageway in Grays, which is a key delivery route for the nearby oil terminal.

Since then, it claims those inside the tunnel have broken through to the road surface.

Assistant chief constable Glen Pavelin, from Essex Police, said: "pursueing 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."

He said officers were continuing to engage with the protest group and invited it to start a conversation to find another way to protest.

Essex Police said Stoneness Road had re-opened on Monday night and Thurrock Council had begun repair works on the damage caused.

Also on Monday, two people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance, and another person charged with intentionally or recklessly causing a public nuisance.

Police said officers had arrested a total of 60 people in connection with the protests over the last week.

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