Ambulance staff have accused anti-fracking protesters of faking injuries and making false allegations of police brutality in publicity stunts aimed at preventing drilling for shale gas.
An activist is carried off by police at the Lancashire fracking site. Ambulance staff said that others were inventing injuries KRISTIAN BUUS/IN PICTURES VIA GETTY IMAGES
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) was called out ten times in July to attend to protesters outside a site near Blackpool where Cuadrilla intends to carry out hydraulic fracturing of wells.
Graham Curry, the ambulance service’s area manager, said that seven of the protesters refused to go to hospital and were found to have no injuries or illnesses.
In an email seen by The Times he wrote: “I can say that the seven cases who refused seemed to be more for effect and the cameras rather than for any clinical need.”
He added that in another incident, on August 1, a protester claimed that his neck had been broken by the police. When crews arrived he became “very aggressive” towards them, prompting Mr Curry to attend.
“I found the patient was walking around and swearing at my paramedics and me. He refused to go to hospital,” he added in the email, sent to the office of Clive Grunshaw, police and crime commissioner for Lancashire.
He said protests that blocked the main road beside the fracking site had delayed ambulances responding to genuine emergencies in a nearby village on at least two occasions.