Man arrested following enforcement action at two HS2 protest camps

A man has been arrested after enforcement action at two HS2 protest camps in Staffordshire.

There has been enforcement action at two HS2 protest camps near Swynnerton
There has been enforcement action at two HS2 protest camps near Swynnerton

The process of eviction has begun at the first encampment at Cash’s Pit near Swynnerton, after HS2 Ltd served papers demanding protestors leave the site by March 24.

Meanwhile, heras fencing has been put up around the second camp – located about quarter of a mile away – meaning protestors are unable to return if they choose to leave.

Staffordshire Police said in a statement: “A man was arrested at the site on Tuesday on suspicion of criminal damage after a fence was damaged.

“The 21-year-old, of no fixed abode, has was issued with a conditional caution.”

No further details were provided in relation to the incident.

Protestors at the first camp have built tunnels and treehouses in order to avoid being removed from the site – after being told they had to leave by 24th March.

It’s understood there may be as many as five protestors underground, and the process of extracting them could take days or even weeks.

The second camp, which has been nicknamed ‘Bluebell B’, is situated in woodland adjoining a HS2 compound.

It was the scene of scuffles between security contractors and protestors on Tuesday, and police temporarily closed part of the A51 over fears that traffic on the busy road presented a risk to protestors and spectators gathered in the area.

HS2 Ltd said it would not provide ongoing commentary on the eviction process.

They said in a statement: “In the interest of the safety of the public, emergency services, HS2 staff and the activists themselves, we urge those who are unlawfully encamped on the Cash’s Pit land to obey the High Court Possession Order and leave immediately.

“The construction of HS2 is playing a vital role in Britain’s economic recovery from the pandemic, with over 22,000 people already working on the project and tens of thousands of additional jobs supported through our supply chain.

“Anyone who cares about our natural environment ought to support a project that is providing work across the UK today, and in the future will get people out of cars, off planes and onto zero carbon rail travel.”

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