“It Often Feels Like You Are Talking To A Wall”: Police and Private Security Responses To The Protect Pont Valley Campaign Against Opencast Coal Extraction

Stephens-Griffin, Nathan, Lampkin, Jack A., Wyatt, Tanya and Stephenson, Carol (2021) “It Often Feels Like You Are Talking To A Wall”: Police and Private Security Responses To The Protect Pont Valley Campaign Against Opencast Coal Extraction. Critical Criminology. ISSN 1205-8629 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-021-09571-3

Abstract

Conflict between police, private security and political protesters is a widely researched topic within and beyond the discipline of criminology (e.g. Weiss, 1978; South 1988; Rigakos, 2002; Goyes and South, 2016; Jackson et al, 2018; Gilmore et al, 2019; Choudry, 2019). Adopting a green criminological lens, this article seeks to contribute to this rich body of extant research by examining police and private security responses to campaigning against opencast coal mining in Pont Valley, County Durham. Based on qualitative interviews, the article examines activists’ perceptions of responses to their campaign. Activists felt that rather than acting as neutral arbiters, police colluded with private interests, overlooking abusive behaviour of private security and bailiffs, particularly during the eviction of a protest camp at the proposed mining site. Activists felt that their right to protest was not respected, that their safety was jeopardised, and that police had wilfully ignored a wildlife crime perpetrated by the mining company, which amounted to a significant intervention in enabling the mine to go ahead. The paper argues that the Pont Valley case fits into a wider pattern of repression of environmentalism in the UK, supporting Gilmore et al’s (2019) argument that a progressive transformation in policing has been overstated.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2021 11:53
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 11:53
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45903

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