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Police chief warns of heavy impact on force from Mossmorran climate camp

Mossmorran.
Mossmorran.

A climate change protest at Mossmorran petrochemical plant is expected to place significant demand on police resources.

Activists from across Scotland are to stage a camp at the plant operated by Shell and ExxonMobil Chemical for five days during the summer.

Fife’s police chief said it is anticipated the event will have a heavy impact on Police Scotland’s Fife Division.

Extinction Rebellion Scotland’s climate camp at Holyrood last summer saw several major roads in Edinburgh blocked by protesters who lay on the ground with their arms linked.

The UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November, COP26, and the 150th golf Open Championship in St Andrews next year are also expected to place pressure on the force.

As he outlined Fife Division’s local policing plan for the coming four years, Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan said: “There are probably two significant events which will be taking place within Scotland which will impact heavily within Fife.

“One is the climate camp in the summer in the Mossmorran area which has been well publicised.

“Second to that is the climate conference in Glasgow. That is going to be a significant event for not just the delegates attending but for policing.

“Policing in Scotland will never have had to deal with an event like that before so it’s going to be challenging.”

A designated team has been set up to deal with policing the conference, led by Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins.

Mossmorran was selected as its 2020 venue by Climate Camp Scotland just over a fortnight ago.

The group, which has strong links with Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Climate Action Scotland, wants the shutdown of the fossil fuel industry.

It chose the Fife plant as it said Shell and Exxon were two of the biggest carbon emitters in the world and on account of the community campaign triggered by concerns about flaring.

Activities are to include targeted actions as well as workshops and talks.

The policing plan for 2020 to 2023 sets out the priorities of Fife Division as tackling violent crime, acquisitive crime, antisocial behaviour, substance misuse and threats to public safety, and improving road safety and protecting people at risk of harm.

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