Police charge 11 people after demonstration against mining at quarry site

Eleven people have been charged with offences including assault and trespass following a demonstration against mining at a quarry site.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 15:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 16:31 pm
Protesters at the West Rainton site.

Durham Constabulary officers attended Field House Quarry, near West Rainton, in the early hours of Monday, August 19, after around 30 demonstrators entered the site to protest against coal mining.

Protesters say their actions under the banner of Earth First! were an attempt to stop mining companies from continuing to dig up coal, which they claim is destroying the surrounding environment and contributing to climate change.

The site opened last year and is operated by Hargreaves Surface Mining.

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The force says that throughout the day, police worked with those involved in the protest and the owners of the site to bring the situation to a peaceful conclusion.

Chief Inspector Sue Robinson said: “All protesters left the site yesterday afternoon.

“As well as the 11 who were arrested and charged, a number of protesters were also issued with dispersal orders preventing them from returning to County Durham for the next 48 hours.

“We will always uphold the right to peaceful protest, but we will not tolerate criminal activity that disrupts local communities and businesses.”

Those who were arrested and charged are:

• A 26-year-old man from Spain charged with criminal damage• A 20-year-old woman from Newcastle charged with aggravated trespass• A 32-year-old man from Cheshire charged with assault• A 23-year-old man from the Netherlands charged with aggravated trespass• A 34-year-old woman from Kingston upon Thames charged with assault• A 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands charged with criminal damage• A 24-year-old from Kent charged with assault• A 31-year-old man from Austria charged with criminal damage• A 25-year-old man charged with failing to comply with a dispersal order• A 17-year-old girl from Germany charged with aggravated trespass

They were all released on bail to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, September 19.

A 27-year-old man was also charged with two counts of assault.

He was released on bail to appear before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe on Wednesday, September 18.