Wellingborough Kier prison protest arrests made after police extract activists

The sit-down lock-on protest started on Monday at 7am

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:13 pm

A human barricade blocking the entrance to Wellingborough's new £253 million prison construction site has been removed by specialist officers from Northamptonshire Police.

The county force's Protest Removal Team started cutting out four 'lock on' protesters who sealed their arms into concrete-filled oil drums at the HMP Five Wells site entrance yesterday (Tuesday) at around 11am.

Around 30 police officers and two emergency response unit paramedic teams from East Midlands Ambulance Service had been attending the scene.

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Around 30 police officers attended the scene

Protesters were given PPE to shield them from the dust as officers with angle grinders cut into the blocks of solid concrete.

The new correctional facility being built by Kier on land formerly occupied by Wellingborough Prison, will hold around 1,680 prisoners and is due to open in early 2022.

A spokesman for Northants Police said: "Four were arrested for aggravated trespass and one was arrested for common assault.

"The protest lasted into the late afternoon yesterday (Tuesday)."

Protesters had sealed their arms into concrete-filled oil drums

Hundreds of workers had been sent home on Monday as the main entrance to the site was blocked. Yesterday, only the largest lorries were unable to use the alternative entry point.

One protester said: "They got the last one out at about 7pm last night. It was good that we had an impact. They couldn't get their large vehicles in."

Angle grinders were used to cut into the concrete blocks