DR BILLINGS WELCOMES DECISION TO END FRACKING

“I welcome the decision by the government to halt fracking – a decision based on the science.

“Fracking has been hugely controversial and experience elsewhere in the country has shown that fracking has caused worry and anxiety in many communities, stirring deep passions, and has the potential to impact adversely on policing.

“On the one hand it has cost forces considerable sums of money to police the fracking sites and the protests that have followed. In Lancashire the cost has been £7m and in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire the costs were running at more than £110,000 per month.

“On the other hand it has often meant that the police were caught in the middle between contractors going about their work and protestors trying to stop them.

“We set aside £1m in the budget towards these costs ahead of work beginning at two sites in South Yorkshire – Harthill and Woodsetts. Since this will not now happen that money will be better spent on fighting crime.

“In the meantime, South Yorkshire Police will play their part in reducing the force’s carbon footprint with measures such as solar panels on police station, telematics in cars to ensure better fuel consumption, and electric vehicles.”